Building readers with Book BINGO

Who: readers – adults and students.  This means YOU. Yes, YOU.

What: Book BINGO – a BINGO board devoted to reading different types of books.

When: Starting NOW. Or, in a school year, some time in October. This allows everyone time to settle in.

Where: Reading can happen ANYWHERE – at home, on the bus, in the car, on a plane, in class, in library.

How: With books. The books can be from home, from school, from your friends or teacher, from a bookstore or library. The books can be in English or another language that you read.  The books can be read out loud to you or as an audiobook or as an e-book.

Why: Because the best way to get better at reading is by READING. And readers need to read a wider variety of books – not just chapter books, but also nonfiction, biographies, folklore, poetry, and different genres.  This year, my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders will get to do Book BINGO.

The logistics:

  1. Choose a column to get started. This is the initial goal: to read a book for each square in the column.
  2. Read a book that matches one of the categories listed on the squares. When you’ve finished reading the book, cross off the square AND write the title on the back of the BINGO board.
  3. Repeat 1-2.
  4. When a column is finished, let the librarian know.  She’ll likely stamp it with a snazzy library due-date stamp…and check in with you on what you’re reading.
  5. Start a new column and keep reading!

The commonly asked questions:

But are there rewards?:  Yes. Rewards are for everyone who completes a column. Students will be called and recognized at the monthly school assembly. (Side note: public recognition in front of one’s peers is a powerful reward)

Can I get more than one reward?: Yes.  Read all 6 columns, get recognized SIX times.

Are there blackout rewards?: Likely so. (But don’t ask what they are…I don’t know yet!)

Where are the BINGO cards to download?:  UPDATE! Book BINGO is now available for anyone to download. Thanks to my counselor friend Mrs. Watling for sharing her PPT hack 🙂 HERE: book-bingo-pdf  They’re PDF’s and can’t be edited.  If you want the original Publisher file, leave a comment with your email.

This is FREE?:  Yes.  I created these templates and made them available for free.  🙂

Are you doing Book BINGO too, Ms. Arika?:  Yes. I’ll be doing Book BINGO along with my students, posting my reads in the hallway of the school.

Why are there are 3 versions of the BINGO board?:  One version is for each grade.  The smallest board (with 24 squares) is for grade 2, then 30 squares for grade 3, and 36 squares for grade 4.

How long does Book BINGO last?: We are reading until June…so all year long.

How do you copy them?:  Front to back. I did the front side first, then loaded the paper back into the copier and did the back side.  This kept the margin alignment on point.

And, possibly the biggest question:  Does one book count for only one square?: That’s right.  One book per square. You can’t use Harry Potter for fantasy AND first in a series AND book over 200 pages AND book by a British author.  One book, one square…and lots of reading.

I hope you find this useful for you and your students.  Make it match your readers and your audience (like the British author while I’m a #librarianinlondon).  Cheers, y’all!  –arika

31 thoughts on “Building readers with Book BINGO

  1. Linda Weidman

    This is a fabulous idea! A very creative and engaging way to get everyone reading and experiencing different genres. I can’t wait to get started. 🙂 Can I please get your publisher file to edit as well? Thank you!

  2. Rhonda Lee

    Love this idea and would love to have a copy of the original Publisher file. I would like to add 5th grade to the list as we are a pre-k -5th grade building.
    thank you for the great idea
    Rhonda Lee

  3. Debra Kroeker

    Wow, your wesite is so full of great resources. I am inspired by your fresh approaches to instruction.
    Would love a copy of the editable Bingo card. Thanks!

  4. janis albinson

    Hi, I am REALLY enjoying your blog. Every time I look at it, it inspires me. May I please have a copy of the Publisher file for your Bingo game? I’d like to edit it for our students. Thank you!

  5. Ginny Vale

    Not a reply, but I wanted to know how you found out what books were being considered for the Newbery Medal last year. I’d like to read the “considerees” for this year. Thanks!

    1. ajdickens Post author

      Great question, Ginny. Thank you, thank you for asking. Short answer: the list was my own, as there is no “official” Newbery short list. Every book published in 2017, written by a US citizen, and designed for readers under age 14 is eligible – from nonfiction to poetry to picture book to chapter book. Last year, I scoured blogs and top lists to create our Mock Newbery reading list. I hope to have my must-reads posted in the next week or so (it’s tougher reading here, as I don’t have the same access to books). Off the top of my head, an author to watch for is Laurel Snyder. She published two strong condenders this year: ORPHAN ISLAND (middle-grade) and CHARLIE AND MOUSE (transitional chapter book, reminiscent of FROG AND TOAD). All my best to you. -arika

  6. Jenny

    Hi Arika, I admired your library lesson ideas.. Reading all your superb activities. Thank you for sharing these, I’m now inspired to do and it helps a lot. Excited about the Book Bingo!

  7. Erin

    I’d love an editable copy, if you don’t mind! I’m at an elementary school this year after several years with older students and I think this reading challenge is what I need to start building a culture of excitement around reading! Best, Erin

  8. Pingback: Library Lessons: Oct 2-6, 2017 | Teaching in the Elementary Library

  9. Deborah Foster

    I have been looking for an alternative to the reading programs I inherited when I became the librarian on my campus last year. This is perfect because it gives more freedom of choice than the existing programs. I would LOVE the original pub version to edit, please. Thank you so much! Deborah

  10. wendy

    Hey Arika! I’ve been following you here and on Insta, and love your stuff. Teaching internationally in Munich, Germany, so please hit me up if you’re ever visiting. 🙂 I’d love to have the PDF file for this so I can change your name to mine – I do something similar to this with my 4/5s, and this is the perfect companion for the lowers. Thank you for the amazing idea, and for sharing your original work so freely. Looking forward to hearing from you!

  11. Wendy Foreman

    Hey Arika! I recently posted a request for this, but don’t see it – I’ll try again! I do something similar to this with my upper kids, and think this would be a fabulous compliment for the lowers. Can I please get the editable copy, sent to
    Love you on Instagram, by the way!

  12. Catherine

    Hi Arika,
    Im from Melbourne and we are starting are new school year this week. Thanks for the inspiration in your blog. Could you please send me the original Publisher version of the Bingo please.
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  13. Kerrie Witzel

    I’m an elementary media specialist in my 2nd year. I love your book bingo idea. My kids love reading and will eat this up!!! I’d be grateful to get your pub file.

  14. Gabby

    I would love to use this with my kiddos next year! Thanks for sharing your awesome idea! Could you please send me the pub file?

    Thank you!

  15. Andrea Batson

    I would love to have this file. We are now without AR and looking for our next school-wide incentive program. Thank you! Andrea

  16. Elizabeth Wesselhoff

    Thank you for all you do this has been such a great resource for me and helped me grow as a library media specialist. Please allow me to have the original file for book bingo. Sincerely Elizabeth.

    1. ajdickens Post author

      Hi! I updated the original post with the file as a 8.5×11” PPT slide that can be edited. Let me know if you need help finding it (I’m on my phone right now, which is trickier to navigate). Cheers, arika

  17. Pingback: Book BINGO: update | Teaching in the Elementary Library

  18. Pingback: Library Lessons: Jan 7-11, 2019 | Teaching in the Elementary Library

  19. Pingback: Coronavirus closes the school library: day 0 | Teaching in the Elementary Library

Leave a Reply. Thanks!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s