Let’s bingo!

Manaswini Sridhar

You have probably been impressed by bingo cards like the ones here, and thought to yourself, “How interesting it must be to teach numbers to students using these cards.” Primary school students will certainly agree that the learning process is more enjoyable and refreshing when teachers resort to more ways of connecting with the student and making learning more fun rather than the customary dreary and tedious methods.

The first bingo card with only the first ten digits (see adjoining column) is normally used for pre-primary students and the first grade. Students will probably enjoy the game (not task!) of identifying numbers as quickly as possible as the teacher calls them out arbitrarily. The teacher can spell out a number and have students identify it!

The very same bingo card may also be used for other activities at the primary level. Students may be asked to identify the number that corresponds with the ordinal number. Example: eighth, fourth, tenth. The teacher may call out the cardinal numbers for some (8, 4) and the ordinal numbers for some (ninth, second). This kind of variation sharpens the concentration skills of the students.

Once the concepts of column and row have been introduced, the teacher can also use the very same card to have students identify even and odd numbers. Example:
1. Circle the odd number in the first row. (1)
2. Circle the highest even number in the third row. (10)
3. Circle the lowest odd number in the second row. (3)
4. Draw a triangle around the even number in the third column. (6)

Bingo games are not confined to just one subject; the interesting thing about these games is they teach the player a number of skills simultaneously.

How can this be done? The teacher can interweave language skills by varying the way the questions are posed.
1. Which is the odd number in the first row? Draw an x next to it.
2. Identify the even number in the third row. Write a small e next to it.
3. Can you locate the lowest odd number in the second row? Draw a circle around it.
4. Find the even number in the third column and draw a triangle around it.

The author is a teacher educator and language trainer based in Hyderabad. She can be reached at manaswinisridhar@gmail.com.

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