This week’s Friday Lesson continues our “back to school” series of community building strategies to help educators develop positive rapport in their classrooms or with staff or advisory groups. “Group Bingo” is a well-known “get to know you” favorite. This version of Group Bingo is offered by Laurie Frank and Chris Cavert in their book Games (& other stuff) for Teachers as well as Leading Together by Laurie Frank, Carol Carlin, and Jack Christ—both great resources for educators looking to promote collaboration and community with groups.
Focus: Mixing with others in the group, learning about others, perspective taking
Materials: Pencils and pre-made group bingo cards (see below)
Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Sequence: Ice Breaker
Sources: See “Human Bingo” in Adventures in Peacemaking by Kreidler & Furlong, and Journey Toward the Caring Classroom by Frank.
1. Each person gets a group bingo card.
2. The task is to get as many different signatures as possible in the amount of time allotted.
Sample Processing Questions
• Did you learn anything about others in the group? What?
• Does anyone have a personal story to tell about any of the things on the card?
• What else do you want to know about others in the class?
It is important to take some time after the activity to compare notes about people in the class. Ask how many left-handers you have in the room, or how many people have broken a bone. Encourage individuals to share stories, so that everyone has the opportunity to learn more about each other.
Rather than using the pre-made bingo card, have the class make their own. Split into smaller groups and come up with three to five things they want to know about others in the class. Then make a bingo card that includes the students’ questions.
Cavert, C., & Frank, L. (1999). Games (& other stuff) for Teachers: Classroom Activities That Promote Pro-Social Learning. Bethany, OK: Wood ‘N’ Barnes Publishing.
Frank, L., Carol C., & Christ, J. (2008). Leading Together: Foundations of Collaborative Leadership for the Classroom. Bethany, OK: Wood ‘N’ Barnes Publishing.