ELA Games for the Middle School Classroom - EB Academics

Grab Your Free Writing Guide

Become an EB Insider Today

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!


EB Academic Camps

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



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

Your 15 Free Resources Are Waiting!

Immediately receive access to our
Free Resource Library

We promise we won't spam you.

Let’s Connect

Popular Posts

Our Latest Posts



  • Give me a double-tap if you’re a 1st or 2nd year middle school ELA teacher asking, “Does this ever get easier?” ⁣⁣
You might feel like you’re drowning and struggling to grasp for air. Grades are due, weekly lesson plans were supposed to be turned in already ... To top it all off, you’re in grad school and the yearbook moderator! ⁣⁣
Like I said yesterday. I get it. I was you!⁣⁣
And I just want to tell you with 100% honesty that YES! It does get easier! ⁣⁣
But if you’re feeling like you’re drowning RIGHT NOW, I want to urge you to take an hour out of your day for yourself to join me in a free online PD that is going to start changing everything for you! ⁣⁣
In our hour together, I’ll be sharing with you how to take back your weekends and weeknights and save yourself hundreds of hours in planning this year! ⁣⁣
Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to send you a DM with the link to grab your free spot! 😘♥️
  • Is this you? 🤪⁣
You’re half watching episodes of Below Deck (yes, my guilty pleasure) while scrolling through Pinterest searching “engaging short story ideas for middle school” and then hopping over to another site to find a unit or an idea, and then somehow you find yourself on a blog about how to make a graham cracker cheesecake crust without a springform pan ... 🤦🏼‍♀️⁣
At this point, you have 10+ different tabs open, and you’re piecing together this week’s lessons while asking yourself, “Is THIS what I signed up for?? When is teaching going to stop taking all of my free time?!”⁣
Well, I’m telling you that I WAS that teacher. That 100% was me for the first 3-4 years of my teaching career. I. GET. IT. ⁣
But, I will tell you that I DID make a change. And that frantic teacher who was wasting hours of their time online is no longer me 🎉 I was able to figure out a way to stop doing that every night and every weekend. And it all boiled down to one thing:⁣
Effective lesson planning ✅ ⁣
And what I want to tell you, is that ...⁣
YOU can make a change RIGHT now because I put together an entire FREE Online Masterclass PD where you are immediately going to learn strategies for lesson planning that will give you back your weeknights and even your weekends!⁣
Let me know in the comments if you want me to DM you the link to register, or you can click on the link in our profile to sign up!⁣
Spots are LIMITED, so I’d suggest reserving your spot ASAP!⁣
See you guys there!! 🥳😘
  • Give me a ♥️♥️♥️ if you had a chance to listen to last week’s episode of The Teaching Middle School ELA Podcast with Ashley from @buildingbooklove !! If you didn’t get a chance to do so yet, DEFINITELY head over to the podcast to give it a listen!⁣
Ashley shares ... ⁣
🎧 the research behind WHY we should be using podcasts in the classroom ⁣
🎧 how to get started with podcasts in the middle grades ⁣
🎧 and even some AMAZING podcasts and episodes you could use RIGHT now with your kiddos!⁣
If you were able to listen, I would love, love, LOVE to know what one of your takeaways was from the episode! Please take a moment to share in the comments with me 😘⁣
If you haven’t had a chance to listen, but would love for me to DM you the link, just let me know in the comments below, and I’ll get our info over to you!⁣
You can also search for us wherever podcasts can be found (for the most part!): Teaching Middle School ELA ✏️
  • Double tap if you already have our FREE ebook Your Balanced Year! It’s all about finding balance in your teaching life ♥️🍎⁣
We’ve included over 25 pages of content that includes tips, strategies, structures, free lesson plan ideas, activities, and links to even MORE free content! ⁣⁣
... plus a special link to our Balanced Teaching Approach Facebook Group where we have ANOTHER free resource download for you as well ♥️ ⁣⁣
Come join us on this journey to find more balance in your teaching life 😘 ⁣⁣
LMK in the comments if you’d like me to DM you the link!
  • Double-tap if you are a lover of Poe like I am 👻 Old picture from last year, BUT ...! Jessica and I are working on something FABULOUS that has something to do with one of my favorite short stories ever! AND ... I’ll be letting you know how you can get it for free ... in like 3 weeks! Lol 😆 But it’s coming, I promise ♥️
  • Give me a ♥️ if you’re a podcast listener? ⁣
This is a quote from last week’s episode of our podcast, The Teaching Middle School ELA Podcast, where I shared a bunch of easy and engaging ELA games that you can infuse into your curriculum. ⁣
Now, I’m not talking CRAZY things here. Just simple games that have a big impact on student learning and engagement. ⁣
If you haven’t listened yet, head over to wherever you can listen to podcasts and search for us!⁣
Next week, we’re talking about actionable ways to incorporate mindfulness into YOUR life as a teacher. I’m so excited to have Kailey from @educalme with me to share her brilliant insights and ideas with you!

Follow @ebacademics