15 sentences envelope game

Students race to successfully unscramble and write down 15 sentences

I found this game on ALTInsider and modified it for my 2nd-year students' 2nd semester mid-term
review. I also modified a few aspects of the game to adjust for classroom space and other things. 



  • 1 copy of the answer key
  • 10 (or however many groups your class will make) x (# of classes you will be teaching) copies of the blank answer sheet
  • 1 copy of the sentences in B4 size In marker, number your envelopes from 1-15 and print out an answer sheet for each lunch group in your class. (Click here for answer sheet.) (Be sure to enlarge it to B4.)

Laminate & cut: 

  • the B4 sheet of sentences. You can adjust for the level of your classes by making only a few cuts (e.g. I / played video games / last Saturday. ) or making it harder (I / played / video games / last / Saturday. ). Laminating the paper lets you reuse the sentences easily. 


  • the large example envelope "0"
  • the mini envelopes 1-15
  • In this version, #10 has 2 sentences, so I also labeled it "2 sentences"


  • Making sure the order matches the answer key, put the pieces of each sentence into their respective numbered envelope. You're ready to go! 

How to Play

  1. Have the students make groups of 3-4 (so that in a class of 40 there are 10 groups). Pass out a blank answer sheet to each group and have them write their group number (which you can arbitrarily decide) and member names. While they're doing this, lay out the envelopes on the teacher's desk. 
  2. Call up a member of group 1 to the front of the classroom. Give them example envelope "0". Tell them they must take it back to their group and work together to put together the sentence. Once they've solved the sentence, tell them to write it down on line
    0 and bring both the envelope and answer sheet to you. 
  3. You or the OTE
    can check if the sentence is correct (and written on the correct line). If it is, check the box next to the sentence. They can now exchange envelopes and bring the new sentence to their team. 
    • If it's not correct, tell them they have to take it back and fix it. 
  4. Make sure that everyone is clear about:
    • How to play the game
    • It's a race, but no running
    • There's a time limit
    • Where the line starts and ends
    • Legible handwriting
    • ALT
      is a spelling Nazi (because you have the words in front of you, guys!)

When time is up, all groups must hand in their envelopes. If there's time, you can go over the sentences as a class. 


Your most academic kids might wind up doing and writing everything, so it might be a good idea to require that everyone in the group write at least 3 of the sentences. In this case, though, if you have any students who have extreme writing difficulties, be sure to discuss alternatives with your OTE
before running this activity. (For example, you can make them your assistant and have them help you distribute envelopes, or they can be your at-least-three-sentences-Nazi or something.)

Junior High
15 mini envelopes cut in half, one large manila envelope, 10 blank answer sheets per class, 1 master answer key, 15 sentences laminated and cut, 1 giant example sentence