Dolch Sight Word Bingo
This is a page of free resources for teaching how to read Dolch sight words which we put together as a resource to educators. You'll probably want to have a set of sight words bingo cards ready to go to use these activities. If you don't have one, you can make one in under five minutes if you download the free trial of Bingo Card Creator, which comes complete with all five Dolch sight word lists (pre-primer, primer, first grade, second grade, and third grade). You can also use our pre-made PDF bingo cards, which you'll find in the next section.
Did you want some free printable bingo cards? They're right in the next section. Go right ahead, use them in class. Want more? Download our free trial and you can make many more Dolch sight word bingo cards.
Were you looking for word lists instead? You can also download Dolch sight word lists sorted by grade level.
Sight Word Bingo Cards
We created all of the cards below using our software Bingo Card Creator. They're in the standard PDF document format and ready to print. All of these cards were created using the pre-primer Wizard, one of several Wizards included in Bingo Card Creator to make it easier to get done with your preparation faster and get back to making a difference in the lives of your students. It also comes with Wizards for primer, first grade, second grade, and third grade, as well as Wizards for other subjects. Feel free to print these out and use them in your elementary school reading or ESL class -- they're our gift to you to say "thanks for teaching".
Teaching a different grade level? You can make Dolch sight word bingo cards for all five grades (pre-primer, primer, first grade, second grade, and third grade) by downloading our free trial. Just click on the Wizards selection from the main menu, as show below. Installation takes about thirty seconds and we promise not to drop any garbage on your machine. You can keep using the trial as long as you like.
Want enough cards to run a classroom? Well, one way is to go to your local education store, buy five sets of bingo cards, and pay $40-60. Then you'll be able to play 5 different bingo games this year. Another way is to spend hours of your preparation time writing out cards longhand. We don't like either of these solutions, since they are poor uses of your time and money -- instead, buy Bingo Card Creator for only $29.95. It comes with many games ready to go (including Dolch word lists from pre-primer through third grade) and can print out custom bingo cards for anything you can type up on a computer.
How To Play Sight Word Bingo
One of our favorite games to reinforce reading skills is Reading Bingo. The rules are simple enough: each child gets their own unique bingo card. You model the correct pronunciation, then ask each child to find the word on their card. If they find the word, they can circle it (or attach a sticker -- this is especially popular with beginning readers).
Instead of reading the word, you can also read a sentence with a word missing from it, and ask children to pick the word that belongs in the sentence. (For example, "Could you walk with ____ to the store?" could be a clue for the word "me".) This tests both reading and higher-level reasoning skills.
Another popular variant is to give the cards to the children in advance and let them draw pictures next to the words, THEN play bingo. This is an excellent confidence-builder for children who may not be comfortable reading all of the words alone yet. (For example, you can walk around the room and prompt individual students: "What is that you are drawing? Is that a dog? Yes, I think its a dog. D. O. G. Can you spell it with me? D. O. G. That is a very nice dog!")
When a student has circled all the words in a row, column, or diagonal, he or she wins a small treat. You can hand out as many treats to as many winners as you desire. Bingo is a fun way to reinforce the rules of phonics and word recognition which you have been building the students to over the preceding unit, and allows assessment of who is retaining their skills in a comfortable, engaging setting.
Bingo is a wonderful game and your students will love playing it, but preparing for it can be a bit trying if you don't have a set of cards ready. Buying the cards yourself costs $10-15 every time you play, which adds to hundreds of dollars over the course of your teaching career! We recommend saving money by printing out as many sets as you want with Bingo Card Creator.
Another advantage of printing bingo cards as opposed to using a classroom set of laminated cards: students can mark on them and/or take them home. You can use them later, too -- tell every student to come back the next day with a sentence written using at least four words from their bingo card, and have the students read them aloud.
What The Cards Look Like When Printed
This is totally configurable, but if you wanted to print four cards to a page to save paper, and wanted to include a free space, the cards would look very similar to this. Right-click the image and hit print and you can see how big the words are in real life: "Free Space", for example, looks small on most monitors but is easily readable on paper.
Want to learn more?
We've got a whole website here devoted to helping you teach. In terms of value for your time, you'll likely get the most by downloading our free trial and playing around with it a bit. If you're not quite ready to do that yet, feel free to browse our product features or take a gander at our screenshots. If you have any questions or comments, we'd love to hear from you: send us an email (rest assured, we'll never spam you).