If you don’t know the “Running Dictation” activity, this link has a great explanation about it. This game is a variation of the Running Dictation. I call it “Telephone Dictation” just to give it a new name, but I am sure someone else has adapted it too. I have used it with third and fourth graders, but I am sure it works with upper levels as well.

You will need:

  1. A clipboard.
  2. Five pieces of blank paper.
  3. A pencil.
  4. A chair or a place to put the sentences.
  5. Five or more sentences.

I divide my classes in groups of three or four. Each group gets a clipboard, a pencil, and five pieces of paper. Then I instruct them to sit in a line. I place all the materials in front of the line. I also place a chair with with 4 or 5 sentences at the end of the line. I recommend not using more than 5 sentences with lower grades.

The student who is at the end takes a sentence and reads it to the student sitting in front of him/her. Then that student whispers the sentence in the ear of the next student. They keep passing the message along until it makes it to the student at the front of the line. That student takes one of the pieces of paper and writes the message. When that student is done, he goes to the end of the line, takes a new sentence, and it starts all over again. I ask the student at the end of the line who is reading the sentence to crumple it up once they are done reading it.

Once they are all done with the sentences they have to get together to organize them and make sense of them. Taken together, the sentences usually relate to a story or book we are reading in class.

Are you ready to try this activity in your next class? Let me know how it goes!

Have fun!

You might like these resources available on Teachers Pay Teachers: