I’ve been letting Josh and Megan pick out books from their collections for our reading practice time. This is going well and they read those book so much better than reading random phrases or nonsensical sentences from Phonics Pathways. We’re still doing Phonics Pathways, but I’m more or less using it to go over different blends and digraphs with the kids on the whiteboard and, then, letting them put into practice what they’ve learned by reading the books they select.
The only problem with letting them select their own books is that they keep selecting the same ones over and over. Last week, I remembered a resource that I’ve saved for a few years that I thought might help with this: a reading bingo card!
Once I pulled out the card, I realized that it wasn’t going to work, as it was, for my purposes. No big surprise there since I rarely use our materials the way they’re intended. However, it did give me a push in the right direction.
I have a blank bingo card that I made using the table feature of Microsoft Word. I adapted it to create a new reading bingo card by filling in each of the twenty-five squares with different types of books for the kids to read: a book about a boy, a book about a girl, a book about a dog, a book written by a woman, a book chosen by Mom, your favorite book, etc.
Click the image above to download.
Then, I explained to the kids how it was going to work. I could see their expressions: Ugh! Twenty-five books?!?
However, I made it clear that they didn’t have to sit down and read twenty-five books all at once, but that they could use the bingo cards in helping them to select a book. I explained that they can put a sticker over each square as they fulfill that requirement and that, once the cards were full, they could turn them in.
Yeah, for a dollar? they interrupted with disgust.
No, for either five dollars (you should have seen the faces light up) or for a date night with Mom or Dad. Can I just say that my heart was completely warmed by the fact that they got more excited about the possibility of a date night than they did the five dollars?
This idea can be easily adapted for older kids by filling the squares of a blank bingo card with things like: read a biography, read a non-fiction book, etc. The original card even included extension activities such as make a collage about a book you read or draw a comic strip, so you could get very creative with the ideas. And since the reading material will be longer and more challenging for older students, you could let them turn the card in when they have an actual five-in-a-row bingo or make the rewards higher.
I’ve included a blank bingo card that you can fill in with your own ideas or use for other types of games and review, just click the image to download.