Bulrush is a game your elementary students will love. It involves running, chasing and a bit of English and the best part is you can play it with them!

I have played this game with classes that have too much energy and that I feel really need a run around. It can require a little creativity to make this educationally for English but students love it and exercise helps students learn. (It's a fact!)

Basic Info

Time: 10+ minutes
Level: Elementary grade 2 - 4
Works with: Vocabulary sets
Class size: Medium to large

You will need:

  • To do this in the gym, or outside. It may be possible inside, but you will have to restrict students to walking (and that's never easy in a chasing game).

Lesson Description

  1. Select a few words from the vocabulary set (say, colors). Allocate each student one color.
  2. Go to the gym. Check everyone remembers what color they are.
  3. One student must be IT. All the other students line up on one side of the gym and IT stands in the middle. IT calls out a color.
  4. All students who are that color must run to the other side of the gym without getting touched. Those who get caught are now IT too.
  5. IT calls the next color until everyone has run. Now it repeats from the other side. Keep going until the last runner is caught.


  • Get everyone practicing the vocab by using it to cheer on the runners.
    ie. If you are doing colors and blue is called, everyone not running should cheer "Go blue! Go blue! Run!"
  • You can play this game when practicing animal names - cheer the same as above, but to make it funnier, make it a rule both chasers and runners have to move like the animal called.


  • Make sure you don't choose the slowest student in the class to be IT or the game will never end, and that student will lose face.
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