Tutor Tips to the Rescue!

Tutor Tips to the Rescue!

Your learners are showing up in 20 minutes, and you need an activity idea fast! Check out the Tutor Tips blog on the Minnesota Literacy Council website to find hundreds of activity ideas with detailed instructions for yourself or your classroom volunteers to follow. Use tags to easily search for activities by level or language skill. Discover your next favorite activity in minutes on the Tutor Tips blog!

Here is an example of what you can find:

Race to the Word

Purpose: A fun, energizing team game that develops listening for specific information skills

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Materials Needed: Song, slips of paper with words from the song, tape


  1. Choose a song that will not be too difficult for your learners (see song suggestions below).
  2. Write 10-15 words from the song (ideally words that the learners will have heard before) on slips of paper and tape them to the board. For higher level groups write 15-20 words.
  3. Read the words together as a class.
  4. Divide the class into two teams, and have the teams line up in front of the board.
  5. Start the song. When the two learners who are at the front of their line hear a word that is on the board, they run to the board and grab that word.
  6. The two learners in front then go to the back of the line, and the learners who are next in line race to get the next word.
  7. Play the song several times until all of the words have been claimed.
  8. The team with the most words wins.

Suggested Songs:

  • What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  • Hello, Goodbye – The Beatles
  • Luka – Suzanne Vega
  • Tom’s Diner – Suzanne Vega
  • Sunshine on My Shoulders – John Denver
  • 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton
  • Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
  • Cats in the Cradle – Harry Chapin
  • Yesterday – The Beatles
Andrea Echelberger, ESL Training Coordinator Minnesota Literacy Council