While most of tend to think of bingo as a pastime enjoyed purely for leisurely purposes, it is also true that many K-12 teachers have adapted bingo for use in their classrooms. Bingo is today being used to help teach a diverse range of school subjects including reading, English, foreign languages and math.
Education versions of bingo are generally played according to roughly the same rules as the standard game - with the teacher acting as bingo caller, and the students as the players - but they often played with specially modified bingo cards containing items chosen by the teacher rather than the usual numbers. Additionally, in some cases, the teacher may tweak the rules somewhat.
Here are a few ideas for using bingo in lessons:
* Sight word bingo - The bingo cards are printed with words chosen by the teacher (often words from the Dolch sight word list). The teacher reads out a word, and students must find the matching square on their cards.
* Phonemic awareness bingo - The bingo cards are printed with letters. The teacher calls out a word, and students must find the letter which begins that word.
* Vocabulary bingo - The teacher gives a definition for a word, and students must find the square on their card with the matching word
* Parts of speech bingo - The teacher gives a clue for a part of speech ("a verb beginning with T", etc.) and students must find the square with a matching word.
* Foreign language bingo - The bingo cards are printed with words in the language being taught (French, German, Spanish, etc.), the teacher reads out a word in English, and students must find the matching word. You can also reverse this, so the teacher speaks in a foreign language, and the students must find the matching English word, or you could simply play the entire game in the foreign language.
* Math bingo - The bingo cards are printed with numbers, and the teacher gives a math problem such as simple addition, subtraction, multiplication or division problem. Students must find the square containing the answer to the problem.
* Fraction and Decimals bingo - The bingo cards are printed with fractions and/or decimal numbers. The teacher reads out a number and the students must find the matching square. This doesn't have to be easy - the student could be required to convert the number between representations such as find the square containing "0.75" if the teacher says "six eighths", etc. Obviously teachers can vary the level of difficulty so it is appropriate for their class.
* Rounding bingo - The bingo cards are printed with numbers, and the students must find the matching square when the teacher says something like "two point six rounded to the nearest whole number", or "twelve rounded to the nearest multiple of ten".
* History bingo - The bingo cards can be printed with names of historical figures (for example, "Theodore Roosevelt"), events (for example, the "Battle of Gettysburg"), or dates (for example, "December 7th 1941"), and students must find the matching square when given a clue by the teacher.
* Geography bingo - Basically the same idea as history bingo, but using city, state, country or other place names. The teacher can give clues such as "it's a state on the West coast of the United States and it's capital is Sacramento".
* Science bingo - Just like history and geography, bingo can also be used to help students learn key facts about biological, chemistry or physics.