Freebie Friday: Shape Bingo

 As you may remember we have a bunch of different games and activities for geometry. Shape identification is an important skill acquired in the lower elementary grades. So today’s Freebie Friday is Shape Bingo, which provides a fun, engaging, play-based method to have students practice both the construction of shapes as well as the identification. This activity can be played using two or three dimensional shapes. I have also used it as part of a unit on differentiating quadrilaterals. It is a game that is easily modified to suit a teacher curricular needs, and as such I have found it to be an excellent substitute teacher activity or even a home learning game.Shape Bingo Picture

In the classroom, I have used Shape Bingo across the grades by modifying the shapes I ask my students to fill their bingo. For example, for the younger grades will choose squares, triangles, diamonds, squares and rectangles. Furthermore, for primary students I will often model the shapes by drawing each on the board and labeling them and allowing the students to copy them directly. Whereas, for the intermediate and upper grades I will often write only the word on the board (e.g. cube, sphere, cone etc.) and ask my students to draw the shape independently.

In my experience this activity provides excellent repetitive practice in drawing the different shapes. As such, I often will collect the game boards after the activity as a formative assessment measure to see how efficiently my students can compose the different shapes.

Materials Needed

  • One BINGO handout per student
  • Slips of paper for writing shapes and letters on for the teacher
  • Crayons, markers or bingo chip (for the students to mark their sounds when they are called)

Game Play Steps

  1. Handout game board to each student
  2. Determine which shapes will be used, and allow the students time to create their BINGO boards by filling in the shapes at random on their board.
  3. While the students complete their boards, write or type out the names of the shapes you will be using on slips of paper, and place them in a pile in front of you.
  4. Write or type the letters B, I, N, G, and O on slips of paper and place them in a different pile.
    1. It can be beneficial to print the shapes and letters on two different colors of paper.
  5. During game play, I grab one slip of paper from each to pile call out the corresponding match each round (e.g. B- Square).
  6. Allow students time to locate their shapes on their board and mark their squares.
  7. Replace the slips to their respective piles and carefully reshuffle before commencing the second round.

Extension Activities

  • Have your students play “blackout” where they have to fill the entire card
  • Have your students play “framing” where they have to fill in all the outer rows
  • Have your students play in partners or teams where they have to fill both their boards.
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