Walking Dictation: Video and Instructions

Screen shot of Walking Dictation youtube video

New resource for teachers and tutors! Now you can watch a video of this activity and print a PDF of the instructions at http://mnliteracy.org/classroomvideos. If you are unable to click on this link from your email, view this tutor tip on the Minnesota Literacy Council website to access this link.

Purpose:  To reinforce vocabulary and grammar structures in an active and participatory context.

Preparation Time:  5-10 minutes                              

Materials Needed:  Sentences pulled from previous worksheets or stories or generated using previously introduced vocabulary. Lower level learners may have lists of words or numbers.


  1. Write each sentence on a single piece of paper so that the lettering is large enough to be seen from a couple feet away.
  2. Number the sentences and tape them in the hallway.
  3. Divide the learners into pairs. Assign one person in each pair to the “walker,” the other will be the “writer”.
  4. Walkers will go out into the hallway and read the first sentence. They should try to remember as much as they can.
  5. Walkers will then repeat the sentence to their partner.
  6. The writer will listen and write what the walker says.
  7. The walker may return to the hallway as many times as necessary. The writer should be encouraged to help with clarification and spelling.
  8. Let the learners know how many sentences they should complete before they switch roles.

Suggestions: Offer guidance in the hallway (to help learners read words correctly) and in the classroom (to reinforce good clarification strategies. You may want to review some simple clarification phrases before the activity, such as “Can you please repeat?” and “How do you spell that?”

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