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ELA Games for the Middle School Classroom

September 22, 2017 3 min read

ELA Games for the Middle School Classroom

September 22, 2017 3 min read

We love playing games in our ELA classrooms! Frankly, it’s a great way to review concepts and keep students engaged. Recently, we created a grammar bingo game and a figurative language bingo game that our students LOVE!

We thought we’d share the process with you here if you want to create your own games.

After teaching a particular concept (types of sentences, figurative language, etc.) we use the bingo game as a review before an independent assessment (usually a writing prompt where students must demonstrate mastery of the concept).

Here’s how to prep for your own grammar bingo game:

1. Create a cheat sheet that reviews the key concepts of the particular unit. Our cheat sheet gave definitions and examples of various types of figurative language.

2. Create several bingo boards with the same answers simply rearranged in different patterns. For example, let’s say you are making a figurative language bingo game. In column R (we made our columns spell out “READ,” but you could make them say anything) you might have an example of an idiom, simile, metaphor, and alliteration. On a different bingo card, the R column might have an example of a simile, alliteration, assonance, and personification).

3. Before playing the game, allow students time to look through their bingo card and label what each answer is. For example, the student with that first bingo card from above might see:

Raining cats and dogs
Tall as a giraffe
The sun was an egg yolk sliding through the sky.
Sarah saw Sally selling seashells.

That student would jot down what they think each type of figurative language is being shown for each box before the game begins. Writing down their answers will save so much time during the game!

4. Prior to playing, prep a bunch of terminology cards that you will use as the bingo caller. (Example: R-Idiom, R-alliteration, E-idiom, E-alliteration, etc.)

5. Now for the fun part…You can play as many games of bingo as time allows. Of course there’s regular bingo, but our students love four corners, blackout, and their personal favorite: Have all students stand up. Select your first terminology card and call it out. Let’s pretend it’s D-idiom. Any student who has an example of an idiom in column D has to sit down. Continue in this manner until only one student is left standing. It’s almost like backwards bingo because, in this round, you DON’T want to cover any spots! (Note, if you don’t have counters to use as bingo covers, simply cut out small squares of colored paper).

6. When a student thinks they’ve got a “bingo” for any figurative language game, they call out “Onomatopoeia” or whatever word you want. We like to have our kids justify why they think all their answers are correct. (You can also make it more challenging by having some of the sentences on their bingo cards have more than one possible answer!)

Our students LOVE this review game and it’s great to use before a formal writing assignment. For whatever writing we are covering in class, we make sure that students use what they have reviewed in the game somewhere in their assignment. So our students were required to incorporate various types of figurative language in their personal narrative assignment.

Here are some of the Bingo games we have available for purchase in our Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

Fun bingo games for your middle school English Language Arts classroom!


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Hi there! We're two middle school ELA teachers with a mission to share ideas, tips, and tricks for effectively teaching reading and writing in the secondary classroom. We're so happy you stopped by!

Caitlin + Jessica

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