English Messages in a Bottle

Running and Reading

Do reading activities have to be solitary? Is there a way to make them collaborative and communicative? Yes, there are many ways to make them collaborative and fun and I would like to share one way of doing this: Running and reading!  It is such a great activity that I found on this great website: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/

The aim of this activity is to encourage the students to read as quickly as possible in a race, so scanning is the skill they need to have.


  1. Divide the class into student A and student B pairs. Student A sits at one end of the classroom.
  2. Stick the text on the wall at the other end of the room.
  3. Give student A a list of questions which require scanning to be answered.
  4. Student A reads the first question to student B who has to run down the classroom to find the answer in the text, and then run back to dictate the answer to student A, who then tells B question 2 and so on.
  5. The first pair to answer all the questions wins. It is a good idea to tell the students to swap roles halfway through so everyone gets a chance to scan.
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