While I think using a classic game like bingo isn't always the most effective way to teach a classroom skill - I do think you can give it a twist and make it worthy of small group time.
Here is a free describing 2D shapes bingo game I created that is worthy of such instructional time in kindergarten.
The twist is that the caller is the one who is really being stretched to work on this skill. But the other players still get a good describing 2D shapes workout too.
The game should move fast enough (with the small playing board) that multiple kinders can get a turn to be the caller.
Let me explain how to play it and which common core standard this helps your kinders master.
How to play 2D shape bingo
The basic rules of bingo: listen to what the caller announces and cover up any space that matches on your board. Call out "bingo" when you have covered up every space in an entire row, column or diagonal. The first one to get a bingo wins.
This game pretty much follows those rules. Students will cover the shape that matches the description called out by the reader.
But - that's the main twist and why this game works! The caller calls out a description, not the name of a shape.
Normally, I am the "caller" the first time we play. I pick a shape calling card, describe it's features and they cover the shape I described.
Then we take it to another level.
The goal of the standard isn't for them to hear the description and be able to identify the matching shape - it's for them to describe the shapes, right?
This game was designed to help meet Common Core Standard:
- K.G.4.a - Describe two-dimensional shapes to identify their various attributes, including vertices, sides, corners, and length of sides.
So - my kinders take turns being the "caller" and they describe the shape to the other players.
Students will use the calling cards to look at the shapes and come up with accurate words to describe each shape.
They will use phrases like, "Has 3 sides," "Has 4 vertices (corners)," "Has 1 curved side," or "Has 2 short and 2 long sides."
If they don't provide enough information on a shape for the players to accurately match (ie. only stated 4 vertices... but that could be a square or a rectangle) then it's a great teachable moment to ask for more.
It's great for small groups because you can more effectively target what concepts of a shape may be challenging to each student and provide support where needed.
How to make the game
Here's how to make this game to describe shapes.
- Print the playing cards pages and calling cards.
- Print the optional organizational label. Cut and stick onto a gallon Ziploc bag with clear packing tape.
- Cut the playing cards sheets in half and cut the calling cards out.
- Grab some chips or manipulatives that students can use to cover up spaces on their playing boards. Add those to your Ziploc bag if you wish.
You can print in either color or black and white. They also look great printed on colored paper.
And you're ready to play. I hope this game helps your kinders get enough practice to master this skill.
You may also love this free Describing 2D Shapes Mini-Book you can make with your kindergarten class.
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