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Christmas Running Dictation

Christmas Running Dictation

Students describe a Christmas image as others redraw it. A running dictation using prepositions of place.

Level:  Intermediate

Topic:  Christmas

Grammar:  Prepositions of place

Time:  50 minutes


  • Make one copy of the Conversation Cards.
  • Blank drawing paper, printer paper, or small white boards for each group of students.



Pre-teach the names of geometrical shapes and prepositions of place as needed (See Notes at bottom for ideas).


Students get into groups of 3 to 4.


Assign one student as the artist and the other 2 or 3 students as runners.


Place one of the geometrical drawings well out of view of the artist. If possible, tape the drawing on the wall just outside the classroom.


Runners go and look at the image and then return and describe the shapes and positioning to the artist. They may do this as many times as needed. 

As a way to keep order, only allow one runner from each group to go out of the room to see the original drawing at a time. Once he/she returns, another runner gets a chance to see the drawing. Also, be sure no students have thier mobilesThey will take pictures!


Runners may say anything that is needed to get the job done, as long as it is ENGLISH.


Give the students 10 minutes or so to complete the running dictation for each image. After 10 minutes, change the image and assign new artists and runners in each group.


Vocabulary pre-teach ideas:

  • Christmas tree
  • Jack-in-the-box
  • Hat
  • Sleigh
  • Ornament
  • Star
  • Triangle
  • Right triangle
  • Square
  • Rectangle
  • Circle
  • Oval
  • Dot
  • Line
  • Vertical
  • Horizontal
  • Left to right
  • Right to left
  • Bottom to top
  • Top to bottom
  • Top left (corner)
  • Top right (corner)
  • Top middle
  • Middle
  • Middle left
  • Middle right
  • Bottom left (corner)
  • Bottom right (corner)
  • Bottom middle
  • On
  • On top
  • Under
  • On bottom
  • Over
  • In(side)
  • Out(side)
  • In front of
  • Behind
  • On the left
  • On the right
  • To the left
  • To the right

Extended Practice

Have students draw their own Christmas scene using geometical shapes. Then have each group do a running dictation with another group's drawing.

Printable Worksheets

Conversation Cards

This Activity is also available here:

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Hi fellow EFL Sensei!

I'm Becki, the Co-Founder and the one who put up all these great speaking activities. We’re here to provide enjoyable lessons for teachers like you! Learn more