1. Overview

Sight Words Bingo is our most popular sight words game. It takes the traditional Bingo game and replaces the numbers with words, motivating the child to read the sight words so they can play (and win!) the game. Children love playing Sight Words Bingo, and it is a great way to provide repetition opportunities in a large group setting.

Image: Sight Words Bingo

Each child gets his or her own Bingo Card with a set of words printed on a grid on the face of the card. The adult calls out words one at a time, and each time the child hears a word that is on their card, they cover the word with a marker. When the markers line up to make a complete row (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal), the child yells “Bingo!” and they are declared the winner of that round.

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2. Materials

To play Sight Words Bingo, you just need Bingo cards and some markers:

  • Bingo Cards Generator
  • Printer paper or cardstock (approximately 110 lb / 200 gsm)
  • Printer
  • Bingo markers or counters (approximately 20 per player)

Use our Bingo Card Generator to produce one Bingo Card for each child, and print them out (preferably on a heavy-duty cardstock paper). You want to use a mix of newer words that you are currently working on, as well as some words you need to review. The Bingo Card Generator will also create a word list that you can use to help you run the game.

Video: Making Sight Words Bingo Cards

If you will be creating multiple sets of Bingo cards, it is useful to label each set on the back so that you can easily sort out the sets if they get jumbled together. (We learned this the hard way!)

You need some Bingo counters to mark each of the squares as the child plays the game. The counters pictured were purchased, but you can also use pennies, bread bag tags, pebbles, or anything else you have handy. If purchasing plastic markers, we prefer the markers that are plain and single-colored; multiple colors often prove too much of a distraction.

Some people use a Bingo Marker that the child uses to color the square instead of a counter. This gives the children a bit of practice gripping the pens, but it also requires you to hand out fresh Bingo cards for each round.

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3. Activity

Each child is given a Bingo Card and a handful of markers (approximately 20 per child). The children are given 90 seconds to read all the words on their card. If there are any weak readers in the class, the adult should take this time to work with those children to help them read all the words on their card; otherwise they are going to be lost for the rest of the game.

Video: Playing Sight Words Bingo

The adult takes the word list and picks a word at random from the list. The adult reads out the word, uses it in a sentence, then reads out the word again. For example, if the word was plate, the adult could call out:

Adult: Plate. I ate dinner on a round plate. Plate.

The adult then marks off the word from the list to help them remember which words have been called already. The adult takes a long pause between each word to give the children time to play the game.

When the children hear a word called out, they are supposed to look at their Bingo card and see if they can find the word on the card (not every word is on every card). If they find the word, they place a counter on that square.

To win, a child has makes an entire line (five vertical, horizontal, or diagonal squares). For the purposes of making a line, the center space (free space) is considered to be automatically filled. When a child has a line, they yell out “BINGO!”

When a child claims to be the winner, ask her to read out her four or five words that made a line (more reading practice), and check these words on her card and on your word list to make sure she actually heard and marked the words correctly. If she played correctly, that child is declared the winner, and we move on to playing the next round.

We start a new round by having each child pass their card to their left, so that each child has a new card and is given the opportunity to read new words.

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4. Confidence Builder

You can make the game easier by reducing the number of squares from the standard 5-by-5 to 4-by-4 or even 3-by-3, and by using a majority of older, more familiar words. You can also allow each child to retain their card for a few rounds so they become more familiar with their cards. As we mentioned, you can help a weak reader at the start of the game by having them read the words to you, correcting any mistakes they have made.

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5. Extension

You can make the game harder by using a majority of newer and less familiar words. You can also add some time pressure and increase the pace at which you read out new words, so that the children have to read the words more quickly. Speeding up the pace of the game helps children master the words, as they are forced to truly read by sight and cannot rely on crutches such as sounding out the initial letters.

Alternately, you can make the game last longer by not declaring a winner until a child covers all the squares on their Bingo card.

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6. Assessment

Bingo is not the best game for doing an assessment of individual children. But by observing the whole classroom, you can get a sense for which words are flummoxing the children and need more work, and the words that are becoming too easy and should be removed from rotation because the children have already mastered them.

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7. Printable Bingo Cards

Remember that if you are playing with multiple children, each child needs their own card that is different from everyone else’s. Otherwise, everyone will get BINGO at the same time! The pre-made templates below include 30 different Bingo cards made from the same word list, so you can use them for a whole classroom of kids or just one child playing multiple games.

7.1 Custom Sight Words Bingo Cards

Use the Sight Words Bingo Card Creator to create your own custom set of Bingo cards. This generator lets you select from both existing sight words lists (e.g., Dolch and Fry) as well as allowing you to add custom words (e.g., allowing you to add students’ names or words relevant to a unit you are currently doing). The creator will also create a teacher’s word list to help you run the game.

7.2 Blank Bingo Card Templates

7.3 Dolch Sight Words Bingo Cards

7.3.a Dolch Sight Words 5×5 Bingo Cards

7.3.b Dolch Sight Words 4×4 Bingo Cards

7.3.c Dolch Sight Words 3×3 Bingo Cards

7.4 Fry Sight Words Bingo Cards

7.4.a Fry Sight Words 5×5 Bingo Cards

7.4.b Fry Sight Words 4×4 Bingo Cards

7.4.c Fry Sight Words 3×3 Bingo Cards

7.5 Top 150 Written Words Bingo Cards

7.5.a Top 150 Written Words 5×5 Bingo Cards

7.5.b Top 150 Written Words 4×4 Bingo Cards

7.5.a Top 150 Written Words 3×3 Bingo Cards

To download a template, right-click and select Save As.

These materials are provided under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Essentially, this means you can do whatever you want with the resources, provided you leave the attribution hallmark on the resources. You may use these materials in the classroom, at home, as part of a for-profit tutoring business, to wrap fish, or for any other purpose your heart desires. You do not need to contact us for permission to use the materials. We want you to use them!

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8. Additional Resources

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14 Responses to “Sight Words Bingo”

  1. pushpa

    This is very useful ……….

    Reply
  2. Karin

    Wow! Thank you!!!

    Reply
  3. Allie Beth Picou

    Wow I really love this game!

    Reply
  4. Vicki

    Fantastic resources. It would be great if you could select how many words you wanted on your bingo card. eg 6 words or 4 words or 8 words only

    Reply
  5. Pat

    Hello, thank you so much for this site, it is wonderful!!
    How do I create 3×3 or 4×4 bingo cards. On the maker, one can only choose the number of cards not the grid size, but you state under variations that it can be reduced from the usual 5×5. Please let me know, thank you !

    ADMIN – Hi Pat,

    We are working right now on our 4×4 and 3×3 bingo card generators. They will be online soon! In the meantime, you can print a 5×5 card and simply cut it down to the number of squares you’d like.

    Reply
  6. Mrs. Alvarado

    Beautiful work! I teach Middle School and the cards are fun to play with. Students love it. They think they are having free time but they are actually practicing spelling. LOL!

    Reply
  7. Jess

    Thank you! I’ve been looking for a bingo template that will work for my first graders. This generator is wonderful. It saves so much prep time. We’ll be playing this often.

    Reply
  8. Mckenzie

    I want to get smart and get back on track for 3rd

    Reply
  9. Jack

    Absolutely Wonderful! Children love Bingo and I consider Bingo one of the greatest resources a teacher can use for teaching sight words. Thanks so much for this site.

    Reply
  10. Swati

    Waaooo..
    A great tool to work with children on sight words

    Reply
  11. Cherylyn Edwards

    loving it

    Reply
  12. Cherylyn Edwards

    I am enjoying what I see

    Reply
  13. Niamh

    Thank you! These resources are really excellent. Is it possible to change the font which is printed on the cards and games? I need to produce Irish language sightwords with accents and these do not print correctly. Also we teach cursive script from the beginning, so I would also love to be able print using my own cursive font.

    ADMIN – Hi Niamh,

    We don’t have the ability to change font. I understand it causes problems for non-english languages where there are accents. Some of our users have reported success just printing in English, then inking in the accents.

    Reply
  14. Pamela Absolum

    Thank you so much for such a fantastic site. You people are amazing.

    Reply

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