Birthday line up


  1. Explain to students that you would like them to form a line across the room in order of their birthday. 

  2. The challenge is to do so without talking.

  3. Give no further instructions, students need to work out with their class members: how to communicate their birthday (e.g. write it down, use their fingers, mouth the words, etc); which end of the room to start at; whether to include the year of birth/age or just calendar year. There is no right or wrong, the learning is in how students manage and communicate this challenge.

  4. Once the students have formed a line, ask each student to call out their birthday to check the order is correct.

  5. Ask students to explain what they found challenging, what strategies they found useful/not useful, observations on how decisions were made by the group.

  6. Highlight the importance of clear communication and ways of clarifying what people mean. Non-verbal communication can be very helpful in clarifying our verbal communication, but on it's own can be difficult to understand. 

  7. Students can then be divided into groups by separating the line up into as many groups as required (e.g. 1st four students, next four students, etc).