Elementary and Middle School Review Activity for Any Subject: Footloose


Using task cards to play Footloose in any content area

I’m sure you use a variety of review activities in your elementary or middle school classroom – have you ever used Footloose activities? I’ve mentioned the activity in my blog posts before, but have never really explained it on this blog (I did on my old one, maybe 5 years ago), so unless you’ve used one of my Footloose activities in your classroom, you might not know how it works. It’s an activity that is enjoyed by students of all ages, and can be used with just about any topic you’re teaching. I use it mostly for math, because that’s what I teach; but in the past, when I taught different grade levels, I used it as a review activity in other subject areas as well.

It’s amazing how quiet and engaged students are when working on this activity. They are up and down, out of their seats, and you’d think they’d be very distracted…but no matter what the grade level (I’ve used it with 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades), students stay focused and work hard to complete the questions!  

Using Footloose task cards activity in middle school math class

Here’s how Footloose works:
1. There are 30 cards, with a question on each card. Each card is numbered, from 1-30. I do laminate the cards so that they don’t get ruined after one use:)
2. Students receive a Footloose grid (there’s one on the desk in the picture).
3. Each student is given a card to start with, and the  extras are placed around the room. I typically put them on the chalk/whiteboards ledges (cards are on the ledge in the picture).
4. Students find the answer to each question, writing their work on the grid or on separate paper. Then they record the answer to each question on the grid, in the box with the corresponding number.
5. When students finish with a card, they place it on the chalk ledge and get a new card.
6. This continues until students have answered all questions.

Order of Operations Footloose-free math activityIf you haven’t tried Footloose before, you can download this free Order of Operations Footloose from TPT.


  • Remind students to walk away from the whiteboard when they’re working on a card – sometimes they like to hang out and do their work at the board, and that blocks other students from finding the cards they need.
  • Remind students that they can only have ONE card at a time – some of them like to grab a couple so they don’t have to get up for a new one as often, and then other students can’t find the cards they need.
  • Instead of using the ledges, sometimes I tape the cards all around the room,  because when students are looking for the last couple of cards, they have trouble finding them. When they’re posted in numerical order, it’s easier to find them all. 
  • Play the song ‘Footloose’ during the activity!

Ways to Use Footloose

  • Footloose can be used as a math center – I’ve found it to be a great center activity!
  • Sometimes I make Footloose a game/competition, and the students who finish first (with the most answers correct) are the winners.
  • Many times I use the activity as a graded review before a test.
  • Footloose can be a great partner activity, allowing students to discuss a bit and come to agreement on the answers.
  • You can provide students with a copy of the answer key and allow them to self-check when they finish all the cards.​​

I hope you get a chance to use this activity!


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Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!



grades 5 to 7 color by number bundle
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6th grade math notes doodle wheels
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