Teaching ESL

Verbal Bingo
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Author:  nikoniko [ Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:20 am ]
Post subject:  Verbal Bingo

One of my students' favorite games is bingo, which is true for many, I'm sure. When we play bingo though, we do it with a twist, and the kids are shouting out English words even moments after starting the vocabulary.

I print up a few sets of flashcards (small game size) of the words we are using, and start by going through the cards with the kids. They repeat the words as we go through the cards. Having a few sets lets them repeat the words without feeling like they are doing the same set over and over.

When we get the actual bingo cards out, the kids get very excited, and I let them choose their own cards. They love to pick cards that have their favorites of the words on them. I shuffle the flashcards, and then start drawing them one at a time. I say the word and show the card for the youngest students (for older/more advanced you can just show or just say). Anyone who has that word on their bingo card has to raise their hand AND yell out the word! Only the first person to say the word gets a chip to place on their bingo card. (This is also why I need a few sets of cards - it can also be done by continuously shuffling, but I use my multiple sets in a number of other activities).

The kids love it, and any time I have parents watching they are very impressed at how eagerly the kids yell out the words. If I have new students or very young/low level students, they can just raise their hand, and then repeat after me to get their chip. At first they are nervous about not knowing the words, but they learn to look, listen, and repeat very very quickly. Once they figure out that its ok if they don't know the words, they relax and enjoy the game. We play to fill the boards, and I always make sure that everyone finishes. Kids that finish early pair up with friends to 'help' them finish. After a number of times playing the same game, I start to hold back on either showing or saying the words, and the kids adjust without noticing the change.

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