Pin on Back


This is an activity I made up having been inspired by another activity using strips of paper. I have always been interested in catering for the kinesthetic learner and this activity suits them perfectly. I called the activity “pin on back” because it requires the use of pins. This may sound strange and also pins can be dangerous so especially with young learners it’s better to use blue tack or sellotape instead. With adult learners, I have never encountered a problem. Pins are used merely as a tool to attach the strips of paper on the back of a student and an opportunity to joke saying “we’re going to play a game where you’ll pin your classmate when they get an answer wrong”. OK, let me take you through the activity now.


Pin on back is suitable for all sorts of contexts. That is to say, it can be used for any age groups, at any level, and for any skill (I have used it mostly for reading, grammar, vocabulary but I’m almost sure that all skills can be practiced). Pin on back is also suitable to use in general English, EAP, ESP, and YL.


Basically, you need a task either in soft or hard copy. Whether it’s soft or hard copy, you can edit it in a way so that you can cut strips of paper after printing. The idea is that there should be enough space for margins. The task could be multiple choice, T/F, gap fill, sentence completion, sentence/word transformation, or open ended questions, etc. Here is an example:

  1. Lisa and I ……….. to a match last night.

a) go          b) went         c) will go


Here are some videos where students and teachers enjoy my “pin on back” activity.

Gazi University ELT conference participants enjoying my “pin on back” activity


Terakki ELT conference participants


SLTEP participants


My students



  1. You need to be very careful with the instructions. You can use the instructions below as an example:


2. Your music should be ready to start the activity.

3. You need to have the answer key ready.

4. It’s a good idea to ask the participants to ready a piece of paper and pen/pencil before the activity starts.

5. You must emphasize that the participants must write the number of the items as they answer. Also, you can tell them that they do not need to answer the one on their back. (Alternatively, you can give them numbered paper.)


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