My Experiences with Relay Races


questioning students is a vital way of helping students to demonstrate their learning and is a constant skill to be tested. However asking students to answer questions is inherently boring. Fact. As a result of this I am constantly looking at ways to put a spin on formulaic questioning and come up with more creative and energetic way to identify students’ progress.

Pone of my favourite spins on questioning is rely races. Students are placed into small groups and divided into the following roles:

  • Ruler
  • Reader
  • Writer
  • Runner

Appointing roles is a good way of ensure that all students remain on task during the activity. The Ruler is the team captain and is in charge with motivating the group and keeping them on task. The reader must read out and explain the question, the Writer must consolidate the groups’ ideas and write the answer and the Runner delivers the answer to the teacher (more on that later).

Once students have been arranged into their roles they are then given a stapled pack of paper. On each sheet of paper is a question, students must then work through the pack and the first team to complete all of the questions will win a prize or some sort of reward. I know what you’re thinking, that’s far too easy! How ever, before students can move onto the next question, the Runner must take their answer to the teacher who checks it and then rips off the current sheet thus allowing students to move on to the next question.


I won’t lie to you, it gets rather hectic and chaotic, which is probably exacerbated by my  constant cajoles and and shouts of ‘my Grab moves faster than that’ and ‘call that running’. I have used this a few times and still the moat extreme reaction to this has been the student who was so excited yell ‘I CAN’T STAND THIS, I GONNA WEE MYSELF!’

Overall, this is a chaotic take on the convention questioning that massively engages students. Makes a bit of a mess though…

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