It’s all fun and games until someone gets a BINGO!

It may look and sound like a lot of fun, but BINGO is serious business when it comes to practicing terms and definitions.

To prepare for the review game: The students make their own BINGO card by drawing 5 rows and columns on a regular-sized sheet of paper.  I display at least 25 words on the document camera for them to select words from to put on their card, one term in each square.  Out of a hat, they select slips of paper with a term and definition on it  – the same terms that are being displayed.   I pass around a bag of “bingo markers”, which may be Skittles, M&M’s, Spree, or anything about that size; they need at least 25 so they should take more if they plan to eat some – yum yum.

To play the game: A student reads a definition on their slip of paper twice. Students look at their BINGO card to see if the corresponding term is on it.  If so, they cover it with a marker/candy.  I have a list of the terms and definitions and cross off when a definition has been read.  The next person reads a definition on their slip of paper twice. Students look to see if the word that goes with the definition is on their card, and if so they cover it with a marker.  Play continues this way until someone hollers “BINGO”.

When someone has a BINGO:  The student with the BINGO says one of the words in the BINGO row/column, and the person who read the definition of the word reads the definition again. The person with the BINGO says another word in the row/column and the person who read that definition reads the definition again, and this continues through the 5 words that made the BINGO.  If the student with BINGO says a word whose definition was not read, I exclaim, “Sorry, that word’s definition has not been said yet”, and play goes back to the next person to read a definition on their slip of paper.

We continue playing this way until there are multiple BINGOs with each new definition and they have reviewed these words enough.  Then we stop going for BINGO and play for BLACKOUT – all of the words are covered up.  This is one of the best learning experiences of the game.  When all of the definitions have been read, when they should have BLACKOUT, it is very valuable to see which words they still don’t have covered.  This tells them that they did not recognize the definition for that word.  We go around the room and ask for the definition of the words still uncovered on their cards and the student who has the definition reads it to the class.   This helps the student know which terms they need to study and how the definitions will be worded.

Throughout the game, all definitions have been repeated multiple times, some so many times that the students get tired of hearing it; I consider this a good thing because it means they really know it.  Also, I am happy to have an activity that appeals to the Auditory Learning Style, which doesn’t get as much attention as some of the others in my classroom, so I’m happy to use it in this activity.  Next time you need a review activity to help your students prepare for an assessment with a lot of terms and definitions, and you want to have some fun doing it, play BINGO!


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