At the beginning of the year, I introduce Book Bingo to my students. At that time, I send home the instructions, a sample Book Bingo Review and the Book Bingo Grid. I make mass copies of the Book Bingo Review to keep in a drawer in my classroom that students can easily access as they finish books. I also post the Book Bingo Review, Grid, and Instructions in my classroom and on my website for access at home. To keep organized and to make sure students are reading on their grade level or slightly above, I created an Approval Sheet for each student where I record each title, the date and the category. I can then tick off each book as they turn in the summary as an easy reference for keeping track of progress. I keep these sheets in a binder.
Students choose one horizontal, vertical or diagonal row for each of the three trimesters. If your school is on the quarterly system, then redo the grid for 5 books per quarter if you think 6 is too many. Students choose books that fit into each topic of the chosen row. The student brings a book or multiple books, at the designated Book Bingo approval time, where I look over the book. To approve a book, I take into consideration the category and the student’s reading level. If the book is appropriate and the student hasn’t read the book before (honor system), I write the date, title and category down on the Approval Sheet. After the student has read the book, they either turn in the Review immediately where I keep it behind the Approval Sheet in a binder or they can keep it at home and turn in all 6 Reviews on the due date or when they complete the row. The whole process begins again at the beginning of each trimester.
Writing the Review or Summary: I have posted the Review I use for 5th graders and the Summary that might be better for lower grades. These can be modified to suit your needs.
After reading the book, students write a 10-12 sentence summary. These will get better as the year goes by and I stress the importance of staying within the given space to encourage them to only write about the highlights. As part of the directions, we discuss what is included in a quality summary and I show them examples.
The next section is Compare and Contrast where students must pick another book and write multiple similarities and differences with the book they have just read. They can compare genres, characters, plots or any elements of reading. Students should be specific and include the title of the book to which they are comparing. The more insightful, the better. Again, this is something that improves over time.
The final section is the Recommendation. Students must write a detailed recommendation about why they liked or disliked the book. They may not say vague words like “because it was good” or it was “funny.” They need to detail their feelings about the book.
- Various books
- Book Bingo Review
- Book Bingo Grid
- Book Bingo Instructions
Students read 20-30 minutes per night.
This lesson is on-going from the beginning of the year to the end.
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