Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.

B. F. Skinner (1904-1990)

New Scientist, May 21, 1964

Passport Control

Choice Card: Passport Control
Questions and answers
elementary aged children and up
2-3 minutes
Class Size:
Energy Level:
low to moderate
none (variation - dice)

This activity can be used as students actually enter the room before a lesson, as part of a lesson or even after the lesson is finished and the students are leaving. Students simply line up facing a chair or table which represents a counter. Alternatively students queue at the door. One student or the teacher stands at the passport control counter facing the line and asks two or three questions. The next in line answers the questions and then takes over the role of the Passport Officer and asks questions to the next in line. The activity is finished when everyone in the line has answered the questions.


  1. This activity can be used as a way of taking attendance.
  2. A dice can be used to randomise the number of questions asked.
  3. With inexperienced learners and younger children it can be useful to limit the question forms to one or two patterns.
  4. With large numbers of students have more than one passport control point to cut down the queuing.
  5. The last in line has no-one to ask questions to. If desired this student can ask the first passport control officer.
  6. Depending upon the number of students, number of questions and speed of answering, it can be useful to have some other activity going for those who have been through passport control. I often use What Cards.
  7. It's possible to use a set pattern of questions for, say a month, use a timer and record how much faster the class can get at completing the task.
  8. When introducing the game for the first time start with a single question, eg "What's your name?" and build from there.
  9. It adds to the fun if the Passport Officer has something official, perhaps a hat or a clipboard to indicate their authority.
  10. If someone can't answer the questions have that person stand to one side so they can observe others. This is more useful than sending the person to the back of the queue, though this is an option if the group are reviewing material well known.