Phonics is a very popular method of teaching children to read and write. It is based on the idea that particular letters or groups of letters can be associated with a particular sound. Teachers use a variety of teaching techniques, and classroom activities to teach children these phonics rules - typical classroom activities include flash cards, reading and writing games, and group activities. One particular classroom activity that is especially suitable for teaching phonics is phonics bingo.
All versions of phonics bingo are based on the same general principle: Each child is given a bingo card or worksheet, the teacher or parent reads out words or clues as bingo calls, and the children mark off squares from their cards which correspond to the bingo calls. The winner is the first child to achieve a winning pattern (for example, a straight line of five marked off squares) on their bingo card and call out "bingo!".
The most basic phonics bingo game is "phonemic awareness bingo". In this case, the children's bingo cards are printed with a random selection letters. The teacher calls out words, and children must try to identify the beginning sound of the letter, and find the matching square on their card. For example, if the teacher called out "apple", the children would look for a bingo square containing the letter "a".
As students progress, more advanced versions of phonics bingo can be introduced. In these, children have to recognize a word called out by the teacher on their card. Generally you might start with "CVC words" (words consisting of consonant, short vowel, then another consonant), and then gradually progress through more advanced phonics concepts, such as consonant and vowel digraphs, r-controlled vowel words, bossy E words, etc.
One additional variation that can be a lot of fun, and again is good practise for students learning to recognize word sounds, is rhyming bingo. In this version, the teacher calls out a word, and students look for rhymes on their bingo cards. For example, if the teacher called out "bat", students could match a square which contain "cat", "hat" or "mat".