This is a great way to liven up a tired group first thing.
Give the class a topic that may have been a homework research task. Choose how the information will go around the room, with a starting and an end point.
Each pupil has to say a valid word or phrase that relates to the topic. You set a target of one or two seconds per person. When you signal the start, each pupil on the chosen route around the class has to say a word or phrase, without repetition, before going on to the next.
It becomes more difficult as the relay goes round the room, so pupils must be prepared or knowledgeable. The start can be moved to take account of ability.
The challenge is to beat the time you have set. If the words or phrases dry up, you start again.
You can reduce the time target to half a second each, or run a league table. I have had a Year 9 class running the relay in 14 seconds and another, less able group was determined to beat them. They managed 13 seconds and the cheers could be heard around the teaching block.
Tony Fuller is curriculum team leader in humanities at Wadham School in Crewkerne, Somerset.