25 Fun classroom activities with an exciting bingo game
“Bingo!” Who doesn’t like the thrill of finding the last item on your list, jumping out of your chair, and shouting you won? Bingo is an incredibly fun game to play in group, is very easy to play, and can help rehearse anything from language vocabulary to math and historical facts. Everyone can play the game together, regardless of level. And best of all, Bookwidgets offers you a bingo generator, you can create your own, customized Bingo cards in only a few minutes using the Bingo widget.
When starting the bingo activity - or widget, it is possible to show an instruction first. Everybody gets the the same words, but in a different order. Each time the teacher calls out a word, the student searches for the right square on his card and marks it. The first student to have five words highlighted in a row yells ‘Bingo’, and wins.
You can make lots of small variations on the game to make the game more accessible to your audience:
- Replace the words on the card with pictures - or use both!
- Don’t call out the words or pictures in the squares, but give hints that lead to what’s in the square
- Make students play in teams of 2 so they can help each other find the words more quickly
- When someone has 5 squares in a row, make them do something with the 5 squares (e.g. use the words in a sentence, conjugate the verbs, …) If they fail, they have to reshuffle their card and wait for the following 5 words, or until someone else wins
After checking the answers of the winner (you can use your own Bingo card to remember the words), give the winner their price: a small treat, a “No Homework” pass, … Or, if you don’t have prizes to give out, you can reward the winner by letting them come in front of the class and letting them take the role of the caller for the next round.
BookWidgets has an easy-to-use bingo card template, what you put on the card is of course only limited by your imagination. Below are a few ready-to-use bingo card examples for education that can help you get on your way:
💡Good to know: You can duplicate all these ready-made and free bingo activities and share them with your students. You can even make some changes if you want. Find all the bingo lesson plans mentioned in the blog post listed in this BookWidgets Blog group folder. If you don’t have a BookWidgets account yet, you can sign up for free.
The most straightforward subject to train with Bingo is languages. It’s therefore not hard to come up with a lot of different Bingo language games:
1. Definition Bingo
Read out the definition of a word, and let the students find the word on the card.
2. Translation Bingo
Write Spanish words on the card, but call out the English translation.
3. Picture Vocabulary Bingo
Use cards with pictures of the (translated) words you’re calling out.
4. Critical Listening Bingo
Read a sentence out loud, and students have to find essential words in the sentence on their bingo cards. You will find the story used here.
5. Greek/Hebrew Bingo
Put all the letters of the Greek or Hebrew alphabet on the card.
6. Minimal Pairs Bingo
Use pairs of words that vary only in a single sound (bat + but, desk + disk, fan + van, sing + thing, …) Would you like some help with the preparation? On this website you will find the answer.
7. Synonym/Antonym Bingo
Call out synonyms or antonyms of the words on the card.
8. Rhyme Bingo
Call out rhyme words of the words on the Bingo card.
9. Dolch (Sight) Word Bingo
Use sight words (such as the ones from the Dolch word list) to help the younger ones learn to read. Here, the teachers show the associated images.
10. Conjugation Bingo
Write all subject pronouns (I, you, he/she, …) on a whiteboard, create a Bingo card with verb infinitives, and call out the infinitives one by one. When a student has 5 words in a row, pick a pronoun, and make the student conjugate all their verbs for that pronoun. If they succeed, they win the game; otherwise, they have to clear their card, and the game continues.
11. Word Classes Bingo
Read out sentences, and tell the students to mark the square with the verb/noun/pronoun/… of that sentence. The sentences used for this bingo card can be found here under ‘identification’ and ‘underline’.
12. Free Writing Bingo
Turn a vocabulary Bingo game into a free writing exercise: continue the game until everyone has at least one Bingo row; then, let everyone write up a story with their Bingo row of 5 words at home.
Learning math can be fun with Bingo too! Here’s a variety of things you can do:
13. Arithmetic Bingo
Read out sums, subtractions, divisions, and multiplications, and let the students find the answer within the numbers on their cards. You can pair up students to help them find the numbers more quickly on their cards.
14. Fraction Bingo
Let the students find the fractions you read out within their squares. The card could contain the fractions explicitly written out (e.g. 2⁄3), or have a visual representation of the fraction such as pictures of pies with a number of pieces highlighted.
15. Decimal Bingo
Put decimals on the card, and either call out the numbers literally or as fractions.
16. Roman Numeral Bingo
Fill the squares with roman numerals (XIV, MCM, L, III, …).
17. Clock Reading Bingo
Fill the squares with pictures of clocks with hands in different positions, and read out the time.
Physical Exercise Bingo
18. Movement Exercises Bingo
You may not take your iPad to gym class, but maybe you can have students perform some small and short exercises as an intermezzo during a regular class. Put a set of short physical activities on your card (lunges, Jumping Jacks, sit-ups, crunches, push-ups, squats, jumps, arm spins, …), and read them out one by one; after the entire class has done the activity, students tag the activity on their card. Continue the game until someone has 5 activities in a row.
Another fun application of Bingo is to get to know each other at the start of the year.
19. Head Shot Bingo
Put photos and/or names of all students in the class on the card, and optionally complete the list with staff members, teachers, and the principal, … (they’ll love to see themselves on the cards) Call out people by name, or give clues about the person you’re describing.
20. Personal Property Bingo
Write general phrases about students on the card, such as “has a birthday in March”, “has a sister at this school”, “has as many siblings as you”, “plays a sport”, “plays a musical instrument”, “likes pizza”, “is a vegetarian”, … Ask everyone to go around the classroom and interview other students one by one, and sign off properties from the squares if they apply to the other person.
Of course, you can create cards for just about any subject. Here are just a few we haven’t mentioned yet:
21. Mendeleev Bingo
Put the symbols of the elements of the periodic table on the card, and read the elements out by name.
22. Famous People Bingo
Put pictures or names of famous people (e.g. U.S. Presidents) on the card, and call them out by name or clues about their lives or achievements.
23. Capital Bingo
Put the capitals of countries on the card, and call out the countries.
24. Biology Bingo
Create cards with pictures of animals, plants, and leaves, …
25. Seasonal Bingo
Create cards with pictures or words about the current period (Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s), and call out the words or clues that lead to the words
As you’ve noticed, you can use a bingo card in several ways. Which one is your favorite? Let us know on Twitter.
I’m sure you have your own great idea of a Bingo game you could play in your next class. So head on over to Bookwidgets, and get started creating your own Bingo games with a free trial. Don’t forget to share it with other teachers in our Facebook Group.