bingo card

My favorite no-prep, student-centered bingo for teaching the preterite

Students (and teachers) love bingo, but it’s usually used in lower levels for basics like vocabulary and numbers. I’ve adapted a version for using it to teach the preterite (or passé composé in French) in a student-centered way.

I usually use this after a three-day weekend or break so I know that students will have lots to say about what they did over that time. When doing this in Spanish 2 or 3 I have my warm-up be writing what you did over the weekend to give students lots of time to process. As we haven’t covered too much preterite, I often will put sentence starters on the board to help.

Next, I give out blank bingo cards and tell students that we are going to create the bingo card together. They will tell me what they did and I will type it on the screen. Make sure to remind students that they have to put their responses on the card in a different order than I do, or we will all end up with the same responses and no one will win bingo! Students will say what they did in first person and I will repeat it and write in down in third person, emphasizing the difference. Students can see what I’m typing so they know how to spell it and where the accents go.

My screen looks something like this at the end.

If you have more than twenty five students in your class have two students go together and think of something they both did–they you can get in repetitions with Ellos also!

Then we play bingo. Sometimes I will say the name of the student who did the activity and sometimes I will just say “a person_____”, but I make sure to emphasize that these are in third person. Sometimes students like to try to remember who did it and call out the student’s name. Either way, this is a fun activity for students to practice the preterite and get to know each other better.

bingo card
An example with names

A note for heritage speaker and immersion classes:

My Spanish Language Arts classes are about half heritage speakers and half immersion students. My students who don’t speak Spanish at home REALLY need to practice their preterite verb forms, and all my students need to practice accents. Before doing this activity we have gone over regular and irregular preterite, and while I haven’t taught them all of the accent rules, I do make sure to call attention to the fact that we would never have an accent where the emphasis doesn’t fall on the word. This seems to help them understand that the regular Yo and Él/Ella/Ud. forms usually have accents, but words like hice and puso would not.

To make this even more no-prep, here is a free blank bingo card for you to use.

What variations of bingo do you do? Let me know in the comments below!

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