Human Bingo Icebreaker

Human bingo Icebreaker: Create a bingo sheet with equal sized squares in 5 rows and 5 columns (you can easily create this in Word using the table function, or if you contact me, I am happy to send you the template I designed). I usually have the middle square as a ‘wild card’. Note various attributes in the remaining squares, either by ‘guess-estimating’ things that might be true of some or many of your participants (speaks 2 or more languages, enjoys outdoor activities, has lived in a country other than Canada) or that you have determined in advance through some sort of survey (such as the Intro Survey described above) or needs assessment. Leave space in each square for them to print in one or two names.

Give each person a bingo sheet and explain how bingo works (that you win when you have a completed line, either horizontal, vertical or diagonal). Ask them to meet others in the class and print in one name (or two, if you make more time for this activity) of people who have that attribute. As soon as someone has a line, ask him or her to call out Bingo. You may want to give a small prize, and/or ask them to introduce the students that make up the winning line (or have them form a line so that others in the class get to know everyone.).  You can do this as part of a class, or over several classes (for example, inviting them to get started on their bingo sheets as soon as they get to class; if you do this, you might want to have another small prize for the person who completes their full bingo sheet first. I had success with this over first three classes, asking students to get started on their Bingo as soon as they get to class.)


See the related Intro Survey link for that document too.

I have also designed bingo sheets that relate to a particular class, where people need to fill in definitions, or a question they have, or how they would research it, etc..  It works very well to keep learners actively focused on the material. If your lesson has 5 key points in it, you might want to have a square for each of the points, including only the first letter of the point. As you introduce each point, say, in the example from my course, B = biodiversity; L = life cycles, etc. and have students fill in the full word.

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