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tenses bingo

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 2 months ago

Irregular Verb Tenses Bingo


Mark Cheverton


GRADE LEVEL: SHS 1 (Low level), JHS
SKILLS: Listening, understanding, grammar skills and vocabulary building
TIME: 10 minutes in class (perhaps 20 minutes to prepare!)
MATERIALS: Worksheets, Blackboard, Bingo Caller’s “mark off” sheet, pen, blackboard, prize(s)
OBJECTIVES: To help students to remember irregular verbs and their tenses or revise them


PROCEDURE: (For “Past Tense” Bingo):




1. Somewhere, usually at the back, in your school’s textbook, you should find a list of irregular verbs with their corresponding present and past tense, past participle and “ing” form. Photocopy this; it will become your “mark off” sheet/calling card. You may want to use all the verbs or for a speedy game with lots of tension, you may decide to confine the list to the first 30 or 40 verbs (or last for that matter – what ever you do make sure you have at least half as many words again than the number of squares on the bingo card!). If the book has no such list, you’ll just have to make one yourself! You will also have to give each student a copy of this list, for them to copy from onto their bingo cards.


2. To make up a bingo card, draw a grid of squares; 3x3 (for a very short game or if your students are very low level and they need time to mark the card), 4x4 (average for a low level school), 5x5 (longer game or if you are going to call quickly), 6x6 (it’ll probably get boring and last a whole lesson!). Decorate them as you wish if you are that type of ALT. Copy one bingo card for each student (plus a few extras for emergencies).


3. Take your “mark off sheet”, a pen and your bingo cards to class!


The Class


1. Handout the blank bingo cards. Instruct students to choose copy irregular verbs from the “present tense” column (i.e. copy verbs in the present tense) of their textbook (or a list you’ve handed out with the bingo card) in to the grid – one word in each square. Tell them to make it as random as possible (students are on the whole bingo experts and will take this instruction as read). Ensure they use only the verbs that you will call (i.e. tell them if you are limiting it to the first 30 verbs on page 90!)


2. Once this is done, start calling verbs like they were numbers in a bingo game! (marking them off on your card as you go – calling in a random order). First student to make a line wins a prize! The twist, however, is to call the verbs in the past tense (while the students are marking off in their card in the present tense).


3. Your JTE may assist by writing the past tense verbs on the board as they are called to permit students to check back on words they may have missed. Inject a bit of suspense into the proceedings and occasionally ask if anyone has “reach” (waiting for one number) etc.


4. If a student calls “bingo” get them to call out the words in their line with both the past tense and present tense equivalent. Winners should be rewarded with an inexpensive prize.





1. Bingo games always seem to go down well with students. They are easy to prepare and can be a great warm up or even end of lesson treat.


2. This particular variation was used to remind the E1 class of my low level school about the past tense, a few weeks before the final exams, but you could extend it so they choose words from one tense column and you call from past, past participle and “ing” form (if you want to make it more testing). Another variation might be for them to choose words in English from a pick list and you call using the Japanese etc. etc. (the number of variations is enormous for bingo!).


3. To execute a successful bingo game, make sure its not too long so everyone is getting bored. Factors affecting this are; ability of the students, size of the grid, number of words available in the pick list etc. The skill is to balance these factors. (First game I did was with very low level students. I used a 5x5 grid and all the irregular verbs over 2 pages! The game took a whole lesson!!!). The other way to vary the difficulty is to permit (or not) cribbing from the books or list during the game – I tend to allow it!


4. Prizes – The most sought after presents I have ever given (more popular even than my Mark+aijin purikura) is actually the cheapest! “Good luck” pennies were the must have item in my school last year. I brought back a bag full from home (I changed a few pound up at the bank for shiny 2005 1p pieces and also rooted through my relatives for coins minted 15-18 years ago – approximately the ages of my students).

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