The A to Z game is a fun and occasionally rowdy vocabulary game and a surefire way to inject some energy into the classroom. It’s ideal as a warmer and is a great way to introduce new topics. Themes might include adjectives, jobs, food, things you take on holiday, etc. If you like this activity you should check out the big list of fun, no preparation warm-up activities.
How to play
Write the letters A to Z in columns down the board (see the illustration). Make sure that there’s enough space next to each letter for a word to be written.
Divide the class into two teams (three is possible but can get chaotic). Get each team to nominate a writer who comes to the front and stands at the board.
Each writer will need a different coloured board pen or piece of chalk.
As soon as you say start, students must race to write an appropriate word next to each letter. For example, if the theme is adjectives then they might write. Angry, Beautiful, etc. Teammates help by shouting out suggestions and giving spelling tips. I don’t stop my students from using any resources they have to hand such as textbooks and dictionaries. Only one word can be written for each letter so the first to start writing claims the letter.
After a five or ten minute limit, or when all the letters have been used (I usually leave out X) give a point for every word each team has written, and congratulate the winners. If there are any spelling mistakes then elicit the correct spelling from the class.