Bingo! How to Gamify Your Lessons And Engage Students

Keeping students engaged is one of the hardest challenges educators face every single day. Traditional teaching methods often struggle to capture students' attention and foster their active participation. That's where gamification comes into play—a dynamic approach that integrates game elements and mechanics into the learning process. By harnessing the power of gamification, educators can transform their classrooms into immersive environments that inspire curiosity, promote collaboration, and ignite a passion for learning.

Students love games. Competition keeps students focused and drives them to do their best. Adding competition and gamifying lessons and activities, educators can keep students engaged in learning while they are having fun. Gamifying your classroom and lessons does not mean creating a points system or handing out video game like achievements for students completing assignments. It means designing games that teach content and allowing students to play them to learn. 

Not all teachers can simply create a game off the top of their head. Luckily there are several board games you can base your classroom games on and online platforms that can turn any lesson into a fun and interactive game.

Board Games 

Sitting around the kitchen table watching one of your family members finally go bankrupt from landing on Boardwalk is always a lot of fun. Turning your lessons into a games based off of board games is a great way for students to stay engaged and review content. Here are a few examples:

  • Scattergories: In Scattergories, players are given a card that has twelve different prompts on it. For a limited amount of time, players come up with as many things they can for each prompt. The catch is that everything on your list must start with the same letter. This is a fun game that can be adapted into a review for any subject. For example, you could use Scattergories to teach students about the different types of animals in the animal kingdom. You could divide students into teams and give them a category, such as "animals that live in the water" or "animals that are endangered." The teams would then have to come up with as many animals as they can that start with the given letter and fit the category. The team with the most words wins.
  • Bingo: Bingo is a classic game that everyone knows. Instead of randomly getting B13, teachers can create custom bingo boards that have to do with content being taught. For example, you could use Bingo to teach students about the different states in the United States. You could create bingo cards with the names of the states on them. You would then point out a state on the board and your students would mark off the states on their bingo cards. When a student thinks they have bingo they would read aloud the five states they marked off. As the teacher, you would check if what students crossed off on their bingo sheet was the state that you pointed on the board. The first student to get five states in a row wins.
  • Jeopardy: Jeopardy is one of the favorite games students get to play. In Jeopardy there are six categories each with five questions that are worth different amounts of points. Players take turns picking categories and answering questions until all questions have been answered. The reason Jeopardy is so popular is because it can be adapted for any subject. For example, your class just finished reading The Great Gatsby. Your categories could be characters, events, themes, vocabulary, and symbolism. Divide your class into an appropriate amount of teams and determine the order in which they go. From there follow the rules of Jeopardy using the questions you generated. The team with the most points when all the questions have been answered wins.  

Online Platforms

Games that are played with pen and paper are always fun, but there is another world of games that can be accessed using technology. Students can access these websites using school provided devices or even their phones. Make sure you master these tools before using them in your classroom. Read how digital literacy can help you and your students succeed. There are several online platforms that can turn your lesson into a fun and interactive game. Here are a few examples:

  • Kahoot: Kahoot is a popular website that allows teachers to create quizzes and games. Enter in the questions you want to ask your students and input the answers they can choose from. Just like a normal quiz, any type of questions and answers can be used. Kahoot makes answering questions so much fun because students want to compete against their classmates. Teachers can use Kahoot to help students learn new concepts, review material, or practice skills. For example, you could create a Kahoot quiz about the solar system. The amount of time and answers would be up to you. Students would earn points on correctness and how fast they answered each question. The student with the most points at the end wins. 
  • Quizlet Live: Quizlet Live is another popular website that allows teachers to create quizzes and games. Quizlet Live is similar to Kahoot, but it offers some additional features. Quizlet Live breaks students into teams automatically. The answers to all of the questions will be split between each member of the team. During the contest students would have to identify the answer to the question and which one of them has the answer. For example, you could create a Quizlet Live game about the periodic table. The game could include questions about the elements, their properties, and their uses. If you have twelve question and teams of 3, each student will have 4 answers on their device. Students would have to work together to not only get the answer correct, but identify who has it on their device. First team to answer all of the questions correctly wins. 
  • Blooket: Blooket is a newer website that allows teachers to create quizzes and games. Unlike Kahoot and Quizlet, there are several different game modes on Blooket. Students can battle each other or build a cupcake shop while answering questions. As the teacher, you would enter in your questions and answers and then choose the game mode when it is time for the class to play. For example, your class could play the game mode gold quest while answer math questions. On their screen students would see the problem you have laid out for them. You can have your students either enter in their answer or select it. In this particular mode, when students answer a question correctly they have the option to open one of three treasure chests. Students can earn, steal, and lose gold this way. Whoever has the most gold when time runs out wins. 

Playing games isn't always about winning. Games are a powerful learning tool that teachers can use to not only have students learn, but be engaged in it. This is especially true during online learning. Read more on gamification and other online learning methods in Hacking Flex Teaching.


These are just a few ideas on how to apply these game ideas to an educational setting. You can use your imagination to come up with other ideas that are fun and engaging for your students. Gamifying your classroom is a unique, interactive, and enjoyable way to keep your students engaged. 

Main post image by Alexander Kovalev via Pexels

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