Don't try this activity if you value class time. This is a bit of a P.R. stunt for English and a chance to get the students outside and running around. Perfect on a nice spring day and it does help students remember the shapes of the alphabet.

Basic Info

Time: 15 - 20 minutes
Level: Elementary grade 5 - 6
Works with: Alphabet
Class size: Large

You will need:

  • Permission to go outside
  • An open playground or quad area (or you can use the gym)
  • A camera (and maybe a camera operator)

Lesson Description

  1. Make sure the students are familiar with writing the shapes of the Roman alphabet.
  2. Get everyone outside.
  3. Call out (or draw) a letter so that everyone understands.
  4. The class should arrange themselves into the shape of the letter.
  5. Take a photo of the students in the letter formation. (See variations below for more information.)


  • If you do this activity with an elementary class, you might need to take a black/whiteboard outside to draw each letter in a very large size, so the students can copy it.
  • Consider sticking to either all upper or all lower case.
  • If you do this with junior high, you may want to make it competitive to enliven the students.


  • Give them a time limit; say 30 seconds for each letter. Take a photo when the time is up then call out the next letter. (This is a big challenge, but can help motivate them.)
  • Go through the alphabet A to Z, taking photos of each letter. You can then print out the photos and display them in the class to promote English in a fun way.
  • Instead of the whole alphabet, spell out a word you have decided as a class, and print that out for them. (In the schools I've been at, I've often been asked "What is your favorite word?" This is supposed to be word describing something you think important, such as honesty or attitude. Students with their teacher may enjoy coming up with this word and spelling it out in human letter photographs.)


  • If you are doing this with elementary students, they might have a bit of difficulty as they don't usually practice writing until junior high school. To help them out, use the black/whiteboard to show them the shape.
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