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ELT Game Corner

Welcome to my Game Corner. Here I introduce a game for you to use in your classes to help make English come alive.

July 01, 2003

Picture Fun Word Bingo

fun_bingo.jpg Some marvelous things about Picture Fun Word Bingo are that it can be played in small or large groups (up to 36) at elementary schools, and that once the game has begun, suspense keeps everyone involved and interested. In addition, it can be a wonderful tool to introduce, review and reinforce new vocabulary for young learners.

Picture Fun Word Bingo is a new slant on an old game. The picture side of the two-sided colorful Bingo cards can be used with lower and intermediate elementary school students to help them develop listening skills, word recognition and vocabulary expansion. The reverse side, for higher level students (junior high or high school), consists of the sight recognition words (for the same vocabulary) and helps students decode in print what they hear when the teacher says the word.

How the game works:

  • The teacher passes out one Bingo card and about 15 tokens to each student.
  • The teacher demonstrates that the students have to cover five cards in a row (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) to win.
  • The teacher lays out the Bingo answer mat (face-up) and the sixty calling cards (face-down) on a desk or table.
  • The teacher picks one of the calling cards and says it loudly and clearly two times. (It is sometimes helpful to hold it up and show it to beginning elementary school students.)
  • The students who have that word say it out loud and cover it with their token. (It is strategic that students say the word out loud and receive a nod from the teacher to acknowledge he/she has heard them. After receiving a nod, they can cover the word.)
  • The teacher then puts that card on its corresponding image on the answer mat. (If some students have the word but do not say it, then the teacher does not put the word on the answer mat. Again, this is because it is strategic that students say the word out loud to acknowledge that they have it.)
  • The game progresses using this system for several minutes.
  • The teacher asks how many students have three pictures covered. Those students raise their hands. When the students have four pictures covered, they can shout out REACH! "How many students have REACH?" Those students raise their hands. Then the teacher can name the students who have REACH which helps build up the suspense. "Who will get the fifth picture to make BINGO first?"
  • The game continues until a student gets the 5th match and shouts out BINGO!
  • Then the teacher can ask that student to read off his/her five words. As the student reads the words, the teacher repeats after the student and checks those words against his/her answer mat. If all the words are correct, then the teacher asks the students to switch their Bingo cards with another student, and the teacher asks the student who won to come up and be the next teacher. Now that student is the teacher, and the student does all the things the teacher did. The teacher can now walk around the room to help the others playing and upon occasion helps the students who may have trouble reading a word or recognizing a picture.
  • Picture Fun Word Bingo is great fun because in this version of Bingo the students have to play a more active role, and those who become "teacher" are always happiest of all.

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