Race to the Word

silver whistle

Purpose:  A fun, energizing team game that develops listening for specific information skills

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Materials Needed:  Song, slips of paper with words from the song, tape


  1. Choose a song that will not be too difficult for your learners (see song suggestions below).
  2. Write 10-15 words from the song (ideally words that the learners will have heard before) on slips of paper and tape them to the board. For higher level groups write 15-20 words.
  3. Read the words together as a class.
  4. Divide the class into two teams, and have the teams line up in front of the board.
  5. Start the song. When the two learners who are at the front of their line hear a word that is on the board, they run to the board and grab that word.
  6. The two learners in front then go to the back of the line, and the learners who are next in line race to get the next word.
  7. Play the song several times until all of the words have been claimed.
  8. The team with the most words wins.

Suggested Songs:

What a Wonderful World- Louis Armstrong

Hello, Goodbye- The Beatles

Luka- Suzanne Vega

Tom’s Diner- Suzanne Vega

Sunshine on My Shoulders- John Denver

9 to 5- Dolly Parton

Wonderful Tonight- Eric Clapton

Cats in the Cradle- Harry Chapin

Yesterday- The Beatles

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