Line-Up Reviews

The Line-Up Review is a strategy for use after gaining new knowledge through reading or another means. The Line-Up (students line up facing a progression of different review partners) allows them a chance to revisit a number of important concepts and engages students in summing up their understandings.

  1. Students respond to a particular prompt on an index card, which will then be shared with their peers. As a result, students should be cautioned to write clear and legibly, because others will also be reading their cards. For example, students may be asked to describe something important they have learned or read that many people may not know. On the back of the card, they write why they believe this item is of particular significance.
  2. When they have completed their cards, students form two lines of equal numbers so that each person is facing a partner. The students in Line A proceed first, sharing their cards with their partners in Line B. After Line A students have discussed the item on their card for one minute, the roles are reversed and the Line B students share their cards for one minute.
  3. After both students have talked, the partners swap their cards and everyone in Line B moves down to the next student to their left (of course, the person on the far end of Line B must circle back to the head of the line to link up with a new Line A partner.) Each student now has a new card to share and a new partner. After this second round of sharing, partners swap cards again, and Line B shifts to the left one more time. In this way, students have an opportunity to verbalize a number of concepts and ideas with several of their peers. Line B can keep shifting to the left until students have had perhaps 8 to 10 different partners and cards to review. Line-Up Reviews promote careful listening because students realize that they will soon be repeating what their partners tell them to another student. Therefore, they are also encouraged to clarify what their partners tell them, to ask questions if they are confused about any details, or to assist a partner who is struggling with understanding a card.

Note: The Line-Up Review is an especially effective strategy for reviewing for a quiz or test. Students can be asked to predict one specific piece of information they think might appear on an exam, describe it, and note on an index card why it is important to know. To avoid the same material appearing on the cards, you can assign different sections of a unit or chapter to groups of students.