Facilitation Quick Tips: Song Scramble

Facilitation Quick Tips: Song Scramble

By Salem Osland | January 4, 2016
Director, WISE Iowa

From Golden Oldies to Hip Hop, this activity was music to our ears! It was conducted during the October WISE annual meeting in Denver. The amazing Salem Osland led the group in what turned out to be an energizing, fabulously fun, community-building energy break. It also highlighted the untapped talent in the room. Who knew? Highly recommended if you need an energy shift and a bonding experience during training.

Deb Christopher, MSM, Director, Professional Learning Services, ETR

Title: Song Scramble

Setting: Appropriate for in-person trainings


  • To give participants an opportunity to problem-solve, practice cooperation, have fun and reinforce camaraderie.
  • To energize participants with music and interaction.
  • To interject movement into the training experience.

Best Used:

  • In the middle of a long training, to energize the group and give them a chance to loosen up, have some fun and laugh together.

Materials/space needed

  • Cards with song lyrics written out (see “Preparation,” below).
  • Printed copies of the titles and lyrics of your selected songs to distribute after the activity.
  • A room with plenty of space for singing and moving.
  • (Optional) Karaoke or standard versions of the songs used in the activity and a music player.


Before the training, prepare the cards as follows:

  • Choose several well-known songs for the activity.
  • For each song, write out each line from the first verse on a separate card. For a verse with four lines, for example, you will complete four cards.
  • You will want enough cards for every participant to have one, but not too many extras. This usually works out to 4-5 participants per song.
  • Prepare a handout to share after the activity that includes the titles and first verse lyrics for all of the songs you are using…because I guarantee they will ask for this!


  1. Place the scrambled song lyric cards face down on a table.
  2. Provide the following instructions:
  • In a moment, I want each of you to come up to this table and take one card. On it, you will find one line from the first verse of a popular song.
  • Your task is to find the people who have the other lines for that verse.
  • The winning group is the first one to correctly assemble and sing their scrambled song.
  • If we have leftover cards after everyone has selected a card, I will tape them up on the wall here. Your group may need to look for a card here to complete your lyrics.
  1. Answer any questions. Then invite participants to come and take their cards.
  2. Tape up any leftover cards where participants can see them easily.
  3. Feel free to give encouragement, and even hints, to keep the energy in the activity lively and fun. Consider inviting folks to use their cell phones to enhance their preparation.
  4. The first group to assemble their scrambled song wins! Ask them to sing their verse in any way they wish (one person can sing it, or each person can sing his or her line).
  5. As time permits, encourage other groups to complete their verses and sing to the full group.
  6. Hand out the sheet with the titles and first-verse lyrics for all of the songs used in the activity.

Examples of Songs I’ve Used in This Activity



  • Have a music player and either karaoke or standard versions of the songs you are using in the activity. Play the music as a backup when a group sings its verse.
  • Play the “winning” song all the way through and invite everyone to get up and move to the music.


Salem Osland is the Director of WISE Iowa (Working to Institutionalize Sex Education), a program of Eyes Open Iowa. She can be reached at salem@eyesopeniowa.org.


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