Monday, 12 October 2015

Dice Roll Team Bingo - An ESL Speaking Game!

This morning, I wanted to do something without the computer and focus on speaking. I didn't want any major preparations, just some simple activities to get them speaking. We are studying "I want to pick apples.",  grade 5. So here's a fun activity that worked well. Similar to my Tic Tac Toe class.

I also think this can be done with grade 1 and 2, but very low level dialogue like : 
"A: Hello, my name is __________. "
And that's it. 

Dice Roll Team Bingo
A big dice works best! 

This is a super simple way to practice speaking and it's a great warm up or closing activity. You'll need a board and 1 dice.
  • Divide the class into 2 teams (Boys and Girls works well). 
  • Next, write your dialogue, with blanks, on the board - very simple, 2-3 sentences is enough.
  • You can have 2 sets of dialogue, this works well with older/higher levels. 1 set for the lower level is fine.
My dialogue, according to my lesson, I Want To Pick Apples, grade 5, Korean textbook.

1. A: What do you want to do?
    B: I want to ____________.

2. A: Do you want to ____________?
    B: Yes, I do. 
  • Draw a table on the whiteboard with 2 rows and 7 columns. Column 1 is for the team names, the other is going to be filled with help from the 2 teams. 1 Row for each team. 
  • Here's my sample table and dialogue: 
You'll notice, above my 2 sets of dialogue I have 3 numbers in brackets - this is so the students read the set dialogue that corresponds to the number rolled on the dice. 

  • Now, when the class comes in, go over the key sentences and fill up the table with their help.
Teacher: "Choose 1 sentence to go in the box, it's random - bingo game!"
"Boys - what sentence do you want for box 1?"
Students: "plant flowers!"
(I write 'plant flowers' in box 1.)
Teacher: "Girls - what do you want for box 1?"
Students: "same, teacher!" 

The students will eventually get that they can pick any sentence end they want for their team bingo line. 
  • Key sentence ends for this topic (you can change for any topic): grow vegetables, pick apples, pick up cans, clean the wall, feed the pigs, plant flowers (must be at least 6)
  • Once the table is filled, you can start the game.
  • Have the first player come up and roll the dice.
 If they roll a 1, they should read the dialogue and fill in the blank according to the sentence end that is in the number 1 box. The teacher should mark an X through box 1 after the student reads the correct dialogue.
  • It's good if you have the class read part B and the player read part A (of the dialogue).
  • Change players. Play again...
  • The first team to get 3 X's in a row, wins!
So sample game role-play, if you're having trouble to understand:

Teacher: Minho, roll the dice, please.
Minho rolls a 5. 
Teacher: "five!"
Class: "Do you want to grow vegetables?"
Minho: "yes, I do."
Teacher: "Great, now I'll mark X on box 5."

Teacher: Who's next?
Okay, Yuan, roll the dice, please.
Yuan rolls a 1. 
Teacher: "one!"
Class: "What do you want to do?"
Yuna: "I want to plant flowers."
Teacher: "Great, now I'll mark X on box 1"

So Minho, on the boys team scored a 5. Which means they need a 6 and 4 to get 3 in a row to win the game. Yuna rolled 1, so they need a 2 and 3 to get 3 in a row to win. 

Here's what my board looked like after a few rounds - we actually had to play it twice during class as they didn't manage to get a 3 in a row in the beginning. But by the end of class the girls won!
It was a real hit, class loved it. 

Here's what another board could look like for another topic, let's say we're learning about jobs:

See how the jobs are all different and not repeated? That works fine. You just need to follow the dice.

So sample game role-play, if you're having trouble to understand:

Teacher: Minho, roll the dice, please.
Minho rolls a 5. 
Teacher: "five!"
Class: "What do you want to be?"
Minho: "I want to be a pianist."
Teacher: "Great, now I'll mark X on box 5."

Hope you're able to make use of this simple speaking game! You can play it with big or small classes and adjust it accordingly.

Happy Teaching! 


  1. Just a quick question because I'm thinking about using this in my classroom. How did your students not get 3 in a row during the first round? Is there a limit on dice rolls? I'm just trying to make sure I understand the game before I try it out myself. Thank you so much for sharing it!