Walking dictation


Knowledge required: None necessary but it works best if most of the vocabulary is familiar.


Equipment required: Text divided into sections, blutack, card


Useful as: Listening and Spelling activity; Comprehension activity; Opportunities for exploitation of grammar.


How to play the game: Blutack eight numbered sentences around the room.   Students work in pairs.   One student from the pair goes up to any sentence and memorises as much as they can, they return to their partner and dictate as much as they can remember.   This continues until the sentence has been dictated.   Students then swap, i.e. the student who has been writing now does the dictation.   The activity continues until the pairs have collected all eight sentences. 


Possible lesson sequence:

Take the example of a series of sentences of aircraft take-off instructions.

  1. Mix and match with key items of vocabulary, e.g. nouns – seatbelt, seat, table, lifejacket, overhead lockers and/or verbs – fasten, put away, turn off.

  2. Do walking dictation onto card.

  3. Order cards in a logical sequence.

  4. Hand out worksheet with a correct sequence.   Get students to identify all the commands.   How have commands been formed?

  5. Now pupils can write their own set of instructions, e.g. mother telling child a list of things to do and not do whilst she’s driving the car.


The activity can be timed.   Time penalties can be given for inaccuracies. 

Number of sentences can de varied.

If the sentences are written on card, they can be re-ordered to form a coherent text.

Text can be translated or comprehension questions can be given.