Row racing uses the rows of desk as groups and the element of competition to bring some excitement to new vocabulary or dialogue practice.

Basic Info

Time: 2 - 5 minutes
Level: Easy - Elementary or Junior High
Works with: Vocabulary and Dialogue
Class size: Medium to large

You will need:


Lesson Description

  1. The students should at least be able to say the question and answer.
  2. Arrange students into two or more groups, and line them up. If they are sitting at desks in a grid, then make each row its own group (hence the name - row races).
  3. The first student in each row asks the second, the second answers. ie. S1: "What sport do you like?" S2:"I like soccer."
  4. The second student then turns to the third and asks the same question. These questions and answers should continue down the row.
  5. When all students have spoken, they indicate they are finished (an easy way is to have them all standing but sit down when finished.) Note: the first and last student only ask and answer the question respectively, see variations for ways to let them both ask and answer.


  • Give points to each team for the place they came. If there are six groups: 6 points for 1st, 5 for 2nd, and so on.
  • Play it a few times until the students really have the question and answer down pat. They won't even realize they are practicing speaking English, they will be so caught up in trying to quickly ask and answer the questions.


For a similar game that makes use of the students love for competition, see the best time challenge game.


  • As students become more concerned about winning, they may stop asking and answering properly. If you teach with the class teacher, you can ask him/her to watch out for it. Especially effective is, before you award the top points, ask the teacher if everyone in that row did the question and answer correctly. If not, that team gets the least points.
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