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Storytelling strip bingo

This lesson idea comes via teachers Martina Bex and Kristin Duncan. Martina can be found at martinabex.com. Thanks!

It's a variation on the listening/vocab 'strip bingo' game where students write a list of topic words on a strip of paper, you read out single words and each time they hear a word at the top or bottom of the list they tear it off. About 10-15 words works well. The first student to tear off all their words is the winner. The game takes about 15 minutes.

In this version, instead of reading out single words, you slowly read a story, or other text, and students have to identify their words in context. This is a harder, but superior version of strip bingo. I would say superior because listening to longer chunks of text gives students more opportunities to pick out words in the continual stream of speech, an absolutely key skill in listening comprehension. It has a heavier 'cognitive load'.

It also, by the way, fits well within the paradigm of that TPRS approach favoured by many (mainly) American teachers who are devoted (I choose that word carefully!) to the hypotheses of Stephen Krashen. If you didn't know, TPRS stands for Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling. The approach leans heavily on the use of comprehensible input, question and answer ('circling', they call it) and infrequent reference to explicit grammar explanation. It is a 'natural' approach which strongly favours meaning over focus on grammatical form.

Instead of telling a whole story, you could use sentences. One slight downside I could pick out with the storytelling version is the possibility that students will be so fixed on identifying the words that they might not focus on the story (meaning) itself. I would still give it a go, however. You could write up your list of words on the board, students copy them in their own order, then you read the story, maybe picking out in an exaggerated fashion the key words as you recount the text.

Not quite zero preparation, but if you use an existing or recently used one, it would certainly be 'minimal preparation'. We all like that, don't we?


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