Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Kindergarten Line Up

Jeannie Schultz
Orange County Schools


Students learn to identify their ordinal number, line up in numerical order matching their number with the sticker label on the back of their hand and identify their buddy group, helping members line up in order.


The student knows that cardinal numbers indicate quantity and ordinal numbers indicate position.


-Puppet script from Preparations, Step #4 (or make your own)
-Two puppets
-Name labels with ordinal number and name for each student
-Teacher-made number line in permanent black marker on hallway floor (Most administrators will allow this if it is done neatly for safety and academic lessons. However if this is not the case, adapt using an inexpensive plastic shower curtain or tablecloth, cut and pasted into connected strips. Another option inside a portable classroom is to number the metal strip dividing the two sides of the portable classroom.)


1. Get permission to make the number line in the hallway and show this lesson plan to explain the need and benefits. Explain that you will use this tool regularly in later lessons.
2. Leaving at least 15 inches between each number you write, use a new black permanent marker to make a number line from 1 to 20 or more if you have more students.
3. Prepare sticker labels with the childís name and numeral. (Ex. Sally 14)
4. Locate two puppets and plan and practice in your mind a 2 or 3 sentence comment for each puppet and yourself to gain the attention of the group. (Ex. Cat: Iím new. Dog: Iím new too. Cat: Iím scared because I don't know about numbers yet. Dog: Iím scared too. What if we get lost? Teacher: Donít be afraid, Dog. Donít be afraid, Cat. Iím ready to show you how to stay safe, learn some numbers and meet your buddy group who will always be there nearby to help you feel happy that you belong with them.)


Note: This lesson addresses mainly ordinal numbers. However, cardinal numbers are introduced when we take attendance and ask how many spots or places we will need in the line, or how many children are in the class.

1. The teacher presents a mini-drama using two puppets who fear getting lost and learning math. At the end they are relieved when the teacher explains that she has a game to teach them that will keep them safe with friends in their buddy group and learn about numbers at the same time.
2. The teacher tells the class that she has a special game that her students love to learn in the hallway just outside the room. (The students are taken to the hallway to sit against the wall parallel to the teacher-made number line.) The teacher comments that many of them have learned to count to 10 or 20. She tells them that now they will learn about a number place or spot which will be their very own number place to stand when getting ready to leave and go somewhere in the school. (It is also ABC order so that it will be correct if they have to line up that way for lunch.)

3. The teacher calls out the studentís name and places their name/numeral label on the back (opposite of the palm) of the studentís right hand facing them. Explain that the label is going to help them play a game.

4. The teacher directs the children to look at the line of numbers that the teacher has made on the concrete floor. She explains that no one is to get up until she calls their name. When their name is called, they go to the spot on the floor that matches the numeral on their hand.

5. The teacher calls numbers 1 through 5. Next, she tells them to look at the person in front of them and then at the person in back of them so they can see their position in their small group. Last, they look again at their hand label and their floor number to see that it matches before going back to sit against the wall again while the next five students play. After each student has their turn, then the teacher lines the whole class sequentially as she calls their numeral.

6. As students comply with directions, compliment their listening and matching skills and explain that these skills will help them walking in the hallway, practicing safety drills and later going on trips.

7. Note who is having difficulty and alert their buddy group to be a quiet helper to show them where to stand. Explain that cooperative helpers point quietly with their finger toward the number spot only if a member in their group is having trouble finding the correct spot or place to go.

8. Guide the group in the line down the hall and back. Ask the group to think again about their number and the spot it calls home on the number line. Repeat the line up procedures again if time permits.

9. Before going in the doorway, tell them that you will give them a ďthumbs upĒ signal as they tell you their number spot. Remind students that it is the same number they stood on when they got in line. Ask students their ordinal number as they enter the doorway of the classroom. Note who needs to be reminded.


Each student is responsible for only identifying, locating and standing on his or her ordinal number on a number line from 1 to 20 (or more if needed to include students that might be present in the class at any given time). The students self-check their spot and the spot of the students in their buddy group of five as they get in line. The teacher observes the entire line noting if students are in the assigned order and using cooperating skills. Following the walk, the teacher asks each child their ordinal number as they enter the classroom doorway. Each child is cautioned to cooperate saying only their own number. The teacher supplies the number if the student hesitates too long. The teacher discerns the reasons for the lack of student mastery and plans accordingly in the next practice lesson. Each childís ultimate goal is 100% mastery.


Look for places where a permanent number line can be printed and used during routines for multiple classes such as returning from P.E.
Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.