This blackboard writing challenge works best in small to medium sized classes. Students are running around, writing letters on the blackboard, and competing against the other team(s) so there's a lot of movement and a lot of energy. Everyone loves this game!

Basic Info

Time: 5-10 mins
Level: Elementary, grade 5/6
Works with: ABCs
Class size: small to medium

You will need:

  • nothing (uses classroom blackboard and chalk)


In this game, students must write the alphabet in the correct order. Prepare by drawing 13 horizontal lines on the blackboard. (See below.)

Students will write a-m above the lines and n-z below the lines. (See below.)

  1. Divide the class into two or three teams.
  2. Give each team a different colored piece of chalk.
  3. Students run to the blackboard, write one letter in the appropriate place (see below), return to their team and pass the chalk to the next student.
  4. Repeat until all letters have been filled in.

Once all letters have been filled in, count all the blue letters as a class. Then the red letters. Then the yellow letter. Applaud the winning team.


  • Students will make mistakes. Keep an eye on the board and erase the mistakes once the student has left the blackboard.
  • Avoid making the rule against bringing textbooks up. Students who know the letters already will do it without, but for those who don't study English outside of school, they will probably need to copy from their textbook. But don't worry - it's all learning!


  • Students will get competitive and run to the blackboard before their turn. To avoid this, before handing out the chalk, explain that if you have the chalk, you can stand up. If you have no chalk, you must stay sitting down.


  • This game can be played all upper-case (大文字 / おおもじ / o-moji), all lower-case (小文字 / こもじ / komoji), or upper and lower-case. When using both, draw two sets of thirteen horizontal lines.


This game works really well as a warmup to review upper-case as studied in Hi Friends 1 Lesson 6 and lower-case as studied in Hi Friends 2 Lesson 1. Students love it, it's quick and easy to use multiple times. Once students know how it works, very little explanations are needed.

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