Furthermore, we have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security.

George F Kennan (19042005)

Policy Planning Study 23
US State Department, 1948

Line Up!

Choice Card: Line Up!
elementary aged children and up
1-2 minutes
Class Size:
Energy Level:
low to moderate
none (optional flash cards), timer

This is a classic co-operative activity and one of the many activities included in Cooperative Learning by Doctor Spencer Kagan (Kagan 1994). The whole group lines up according to an instruction given by the leader, usually the teacher. Typically players try to beat a time limit they have set themselves.


  • birthday
  • height?
  • alphabetically by name
  • by length of name
  • number of people in family (plus number of pets?)
  • telephone number

Possibilities with flashcards (put the information on the card):

  • animals (height, weight, name, years lived)
  • months of the year/holidays
  • times of the day
  • occupations (name, salary)
  • food (name, price, calories)
  • countries (name size, population)


In cases where there may be ties decide in advance whether players will line up side by side or use paper, scissors rock to decide the order.

Think about the sensitivities of those lining up. For example, people might not want to line up by age or weight.

For those with good language skills it is possible to line up using something unqualifiable, eg likes or dislikes, or abilities or lack of ability. In this case no time limit is used. Rather players discuss with each other the position they take in the line and also perhaps answer follow up questions by the leader