Synonym Bingo

So this week I used ‘synonym bingo’ – a great idea that I found on the amazing Agility-Teaching Toolkit that I would recommend to every teacher ever.

We were reading Chapter 5 of ‘Holes’, and as every teacher knows, it’s not always easy to get the students to take in the text. Sometimes I read to them, but I’ve done that a few times now and while I take some degree of pride in my narrative skills (and my ridiculous but nevertheless quite fun Texas accent) I thought it was time for a change. I could have gotten them to read it in silence but how would I know they were taking it in? I could have got them to read aloud, but that isn’t always a good idea either. So I adapted (very, very slightly) Amjad Ali’s synonym bingo game.

I gave each student a bingo card with synonyms of key words from the chapter on, and asked them to fill it in as they went. They read in silence, utterly transfixed, and by the very nature of the game, had to pay close attention to what was happening on the page. For the students who finished early, I had a couple of open ended ‘think about these’ questions on the board that I then asked them to share once the others had caught up.

It didn’t take long to set up, and the students really benefitted from it, so a big thanks to Amjad and the blog for the idea!

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About PS

English teacher in Shanghai.
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