Learning Vocabulary Through Bingo Lingo
Play this fun matching game to learn root words and new vocabulary.
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
- Recognize words based on Latin and Greek roots.
- Classify words into word families.
- Gather 3 to 16 students or partners and a game monitor who knows how to look up word origins.
- Make one game board (PDF attached) per player or pair of players. Using duplicate game boards is fine, since this game relies partly on skill.
- Cut apart the cards on page 39 to make one set of cards for the whole playing group. The monitor should shuffle the deck thoroughly.
Optional: Laminate game boards for permanent use, in which case students need small markers (dried pasta, paper clips, etc.) to cover spaces on their board. Otherwise, have students circle matching words with a pen or pencil.
Optional: Make an overheard transparency of the word cards reproducible (PDF). Do not cut out these cards. Rather, project the page so players can easily see it. The game monitor will use it to mark off word roots as he or she draws them. Also, students can see how the word roots are spelled and look for similar spellings on their game boards. An alternative is to have the game monitor write each word root on the board as soon as it’s drawn.
Game Rules and Strategies
The rules for Bingo Lingo are similar to those for regular bingo:
- The game monitor draws a card and reads it aloud, including the root, definition, and example. He or she then circles the word on the overhead transparency (or writes it on the board) and sets aside the card.
- If players have a word on their board that is derived from the root on the card, they can cover or circle the word.
- If their board doesn’t have a word, players can make one based on the root, write their word on scrap paper, and cover or circle the Make a Word space. The Make a Word word must be different from the sample word on the card. Players may make up only one word during the game, since there is only one Make a Word space.
- The first player to cover three words in a row (across, down, diagonally) says, “Bingo Lingo.” The game monitor checks the board for mistakes and either declares a winner or continues game play, if a mistake is found. To verify answers, the game monitor should consult a dictionary.
- Play a “cover all” game in which players must cover every square to win, or a “star” game in which players must cover four corners and the center.
- Add words to the blank game boards that students generate while playing Verbosaurus.
Name Those Words!
This variation of Name That Tune requires only the word cards (page 39 of the PDF). Two players or two teams alternately bid how many words they can make from one root. Players should take turns being the first to bid at the start of each round.
- To start a round, a game monitor draws a card and reads it aloud.
- The first bidder says, “I can make one word from that root.”
- The second player responds in one of two ways:
A - “Name that word!” The first player must then state a word based on the root in order to score 1 point. If he or she can’t state a word, neither team scores, and the game monitor starts a new round by drawing and reading another card.
B - “I can make two words based on that root.” The first player either responds by bidding three words or challenging the second player to state two words.
- Bidding continues with an increase of one word per bid until someone says, “Name those words!” Scoring is as follows:
1 word bid and stated: 1 point
2 words bid and stated: 2 points
3 words bid and stated: 4 points
4 words bid and stated: 6 points
5 words bid and stated: 8 points (and so on)
- Continue to play as few as two rounds or as many as 16 rounds, using one Bingo Lingo card per round.