Run To It

In the Run To It ESL game (also known as Stations), students locate the correct answer for a given question and run to it.

Students for Run To It ESL Game:4+Time for Run To It ESL Game:5-15 mins
Resources for Run To It ESL Game:
Paper; Sticky Tack/Tape; Projector (Optional); Prepared Questions (Optional)

You will need a large classroom, hall or outdoor space. Clear the space of any obstacles.

You will present one question at a time to the students. If these questions take the form of a fill-in-the-blank sentence or an image rather than just one or two words, you will need to prepare them beforehand to project on the board.

Write each possible answer in large letters on one piece of recycled paper. The number of different answers will depend on your target language.

Stick the answer papers in opposite corners of the room/space.

  1. All students stand in the middle of the space.
  2. Present the students with a question.
  3. As soon as they think they know the correct answer, students run to the place where that answer is.
  4. Optionally, you can introduce a forfeit for any students in the wrong place, or the last student to reach the correct place.
  5. Repeat the process for future questions, as many times as desired.
Target Language

Use the Run To It ESL game to practise any grammar questions where there are a fixed set of possible answers. As such it can be played with any level, beginner, intermediate or advanced. Be aware though that the amount of movement involved mean it’s usually only suitable for kids!

For low-level beginners, it’s a good way to practise a/an. Simply make a and an the possible answers and read out different words. Similarly for parts of speech, just write noun, verb, adjective, adverb etc. on the different papers and read out single words.

For past simple regular verb pronunciation, place the three different options (/d/, /t/, and /id/), around the room, and read out different regular verbs. Or if teaching phonics, label the walls with different phonemes (e.g. different fricatives or different vowel sounds). Read a word, and students run to the sound they think they heard.

Practise the prepositions at/in/on (difficult for many learners), by saying places, times/dates etc. Or a few basic prepositions of place, by placing an object in various positions.

Another tricky topic for students is articles. Prepare a/an, the, or no article as the possible answers, and present fill-in-the-blank type questions.

You can also use fill-in-the-blank questions to practise relative pronouns. Or, for higher level students, ask them to differentiate between defining and non-defining clauses.

What about present and past participles for adjectives? When it comes to the Run To It ESL game, the possibilities are endless!

Got a picture or video of this activity in action? How about snapping one next time you use it? We'd love to showcase your submissions- find out more here.