Bingo Popular in UK Classrooms

In the UK bingo is one of the most popular leisure activities and is played by over 3 million people regularly. Bingo has attracted players from all classes, educational backgrounds and age groups. The introduction of internet bingo games has made the game very popular with young tech savvy players. In addition to being a random game of chance bingo has been adopted for a variety of educational purposes. As early as the late 19th century the Germans recognized that bingo could be used as an effective tool to teach math, languages and science. Over the years several bingo games targeting various classroom subjects have been developed.

A little over a century ago educators found that bingo can make learning school subjects fun and overcoming resistance to learning certain difficult subjects such as math. Home versions of academic bingo games can help parents give their children an extra boost in the classroom. Bingo is particularly effective in teaching math and many students have learned their multiplication tables using bingo games. As an example of a math bingo game a teacher will give students a bingo card with various numbers in a grid. The teacher then calls out equations and the student marks the correct answer on the bingo card. Some teachers may choose to award prizes to the student who calls ‘bingo’ first. Math based bingo games are common in UK classrooms.

English is another subject that bingo games are effective in teaching. A teacher gives students cards with a variety of words arranged on a grid and reads definitions and students mark the correct word on their cards. Bingo games are easily adapted for foreign languages and generally the teacher reads a translation of a word instead of a definition. Religious educators have also found bingo to be a highly effective tool in teaching students theological principles in an easily understood manner.

Given the widespread use of bingo in UK schools it is no surprise that the UK is the world’s largest market for both internet bingo and land based bingo. Most people who play bingo in the UK started playing at a very young age and are familiar with the game. The opportunity to win significant jackpots and prizes attracts many former school bingo players back to the game they enjoyed as children. While at present the use of bingo as a classroom tool seems confined to the UK it is likely that many teachers in other countries will make use of this highly effective classroom tool.