Hello! How time flies! I cannot believe that it is already the middle of August and that Term 3 is coming to an end soon. Parents and teachers, if you are helping your child prepare for their continual assessments or perhaps just trying to carry out regular revision of the grammar or vocabulary items that he or she has already learnt, we would like to share a fun way of doing so with you.
Other than doing exercises in assessment books, I find that students are more likely to retain the information if they associate it with something fun, such as a game. In this post, I am going to show you how the modest game of Bingo can be used as a fun revision tool. Although this is not a novel idea as bingo has been played in many classrooms (my own included), I thought it would be a good idea to highlight the use of the game to you in case you are looking for a more interesting way to revise with your student or child. Trust me, our students are never sick of playing bingo during class and I am sure your children will enjoy it too!
Bingo is a simple and enjoyable game that can be played quickly. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game, you will need a piece of paper or card with boxes on them. The number of cards or papers depends on the number of people playing the game. Each box on the card or paper contains the word, phrase or concept related to the topic you are revising. Below is an example:
You can draw the boxes (3×3 or 4×4 or 5×5) depending on how many words you are revising or you can download and print ready-made templates from websites such as http://myfreebingocards.com/bingo-card-generator where you can customise each game to suit your needs.
How is the game played?
Before the game:
All players should have the same words on their paper or card but written in different order. Below is an example of what I mean:
During the game:
Players take turns to call out a word and its answer, depending on what you are revising. For instance, in the example I have shown above, I am revising irregular verbs. One player will call out ‘lend’ and give the past tense and past participle of ‘lend’ (lent). If the answer is correct, all players cancel out the box with the word ‘lend’. The next player then calls out another word and the answer.
Play continues until one person forms a row, either vertically, horizontally or diagonally, and that person wins the game.
The beauty of Bingo is that it is such a flexible game and can be used to revise a number of things for English. Here are some possible ideas:
1. Prepositions / Connectors
In each box, write down the preposition (e.g. on, beside, with) or connector (e.g. although, as soon as, however) that you want to revise.
Players take turns to pick a preposition or connector and form a sentence using the preposition or connector correctly.
Variation: You can also prepare sentences in advance that match each of the preposition or connector you are revising.
Write each sentence on a card.
Put all these cards in a bag and take one out randomly at a time.
Read the sentence on the card and the students cross out the corresponding preposition or connector on their papers.
This is more time-consuming to prepare but I find that students love this variation of bingo as it creates a sense of suspense not knowing which preposition or connector is coming up next.
2. Phrasal Verbs
Write down a phrasal verb in each box (e.g. call in, break out, turn up)
Players take turns to call out the meaning of the phrasal verbs.
Similar to how the phrasal verb bingo is played, players write an idiom in each box. Alternatively, you can customise the boxes in advance to save time.
Players take turns to call out the meaning of each idiom. Instead of calling out the meaning, they can form a sentence with each idiom.
4. Synonyms / Antonyms
Players take turns to call out the synonym or the antonym of the word written in the box. I will explain using the sample below:
For instance, if I want to cross out the word ‘wealthy’ I need to give the synonym ‘rich’, if focus is on revising synonyms.
If the focus is on revising antonyms, I should call out ‘poor’ in order to cross out the same word.
Alternatively, you can prepare the synonyms or the antonyms of the words on cards beforehand and call them out one at a time during the game. Players then cross out the corresponding answer on their papers or cards.
I hope you find the ideas I have shared useful. Bingo is easy to play and does not require much preparation. It is definitely an uncomplicated and enjoyable way for the students to revise what they already know. Do try them with your class or child and share with me how it goes in the Comments section. And if you have any other ideas on how Bingo can be used as a revision tool, do share them as well. Have fun and see you soon!