Lineups is a simple concept which can be used in many different ways. They are useful as an icebreaker activity so the class can get to know each other, but also to help practice certain language items. Finally, they are useful for a quick 5-minute activity at the end of the lesson.


The basic idea is that all the students have to line up in a certain order. At its simplest, you can ask them to line up by age, youngest to oldest.

This means the class must ask each other how old they all are, compare the answers and then get into place.

But of course the activity can become a lot more complicated than that and require a lot more work on the part of the students. This of course will depend on their proficiency level.


The students can be asked to line up…

  • in order of their birthdays throughout the year
  • alphabetically by their name (good for an icebreaker)
  • alphabetically by their middle or last name
  • by how far they live from the school
  • by how long they’ve been learning English
  • by the number of countries they’ve visited
  • by how many friends they have on Facebook
  • by how many pairs of shoes they have

The list is almost endless.

Variations on a Theme

Once the class is familiar with the game, you can introduce complexities such as…

  • half the class are blindfolded and must be told where to stand; the other half of the class is all seated
  • answers to questions can only be “yes” or “no”
  • divide the class into teams to play the game with points & scores

Posted in Lesson Plans & Activities.