Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Study? You've Got to be Kidding!

Mary Borges
Santa Rosa District Schools


The students cooperatively develop effective study aides for learning specific terminology required for any subject (language arts, economics, history, science, etc.) and review for tests using a familiar game in a whole-group setting.


The student refines vocabulary for interpersonal, academic, and workplace situations, including figurative, idiomatic, and technical meanings.

The student applies a variety of response strategies, including rereading, note taking, summarizing, outlining, writing a formal report, and relating what is read to his or her own experiences and feelings.


-List of Terms (definitions, names, dates, etc.) needed before testing. You may wish to have these both on a one-page list/transparency for giving to the class, and on individual cards/slips (one per card/slip) for your oral whole group activity.
-Set of Information Resources, such as subject matter textbooks or dictionaries, which include such terms in reading context or in a glossary.
-One Pack of 3x5 Index Cards for each student (or a stack of blank scrap paper cut to similar size). For a full term course, required two packs from each student as part of school supplies to be stored in the classroom (tagged with their names to use as needed). Those students who don’t bring cards can use cut scrap paper. If there are 25 terms, then each student needs 25 cards or slips, etc.
-Writing Utensils
-Large Gem Clips for Holding Card Sets
-Chalk or Marker Board, or Transparency and Overhead Projector for displaying words
-Set of “Study Bingo” Sheets, one per student
-Scratch paper to make Bingo Markers
-Penny Candy, Bonus Coupons, or Some Type of Game Rewards


1) Determine the terminology/vocabulary, dates, etc. you wish students to know. Have at least 24 items to list. Write these terms on call slips you will use later for Study Bingo.
2) Create a transparency of the terms or write them on the board.
3) Require or provide 3x5 index cards or equivalent sized paper, at least 24 per student.
4) Have large gem/paper clips or rubber bands for binding sets of cards.
5) Print “Study Bingo” game sheets.
6) Purchase or obtain game reward items.


This review and study method can be handled in two or three stages, either during and after a unit of study and before testing or all after a unit is studied and before testing. The purpose is to provide study and practice time within the class period, especially reinforcing alternative ways of stating or defining terminology for slow, reluctant, or busy students who might not study for tests outside of class.

Step One ---
1. Post on the board or overhead a list of the terminology which students need to know before testing.

2. Distribute 3x5 index cards or scrap slips and direct the students to copy the terms, one per card for the purpose of making Flashcards for individual or team study. (Decide if you wish students to work alone or with a partner to determine the definition, identity, or description for each term.)

3. Tell the students to write the terms’ definitions on the reverse side of the index cards. Emphasize that they need to be very specific and detailed in their responses, since these Flashcards will be both graded for a daily grade and used for test preparation. The amount of time used in class for this can vary. Those students who work slowly or leave class early for extra curricular events (like sports) may need to complete the activity outside of class.

4. Collect and check the students’ cards for complying with instructions as a daily grade and return the cards before the next step, or wait until the day of testing and collect the cards then.

Step Two ---
5. On a different day (or the same day if on 85-minute Block Scheduling), orally discuss the definitions/answers the students have written on their cards. Discuss variations in answers and point out any information students may have left off in their responses which you want them to include. Point out to them that not all answers may be exact word for word, but that they should be able to recognize similar wording if used on a test.

6. Allow the students in-class study time. They may work alone by reading the definitions and saying what the term on the reverse side is or vice versa. They may work in pairs and hold up the cards to one another as flashcards and coach each other if needed. This is especially effective with slow or reluctant learners.

Step Three ---
7. Now it is time for you to conduct a whole-group review of the terms with the class without using the flashcards. (Allow 30 minutes for this activity.) Distribute “Study Bingo” sheets, one per student. Display the terms on the board or overhead again and instruct the students to copy the terms on the blank squares of their Bingo sheets, one term per square in random order so that no two sheets will be alike. If there are more terms than squares, the “left-over” terms should be written in the Word Bank at the bottom of the Bingo Sheet.

8. Once their sheets are prepared, direct the students to put away their pencils and create Bingo markers by tearing half a sheet of scratch paper into dime-sized pieces. (Warn them to watch that they don’t sneeze or blow near their markers or they’ll have to pick them all up from the floor!)

9. Review the rules for Bingo with the class and allow them to mark their “free space.” Using the term slips you had previously prepared, begin calling out the definitions/identifications. After each call, they may place a marker on the term which matches that description. If they have that item in their Word Bank or do not know which square is the correct one, they cannot mark anything. Lower functioning students may be permitted to work as partners. The game continues until someone calls Bingo after covering five in a row, either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. Ask the “winner” to tell what squares he/she has covered to check for accuracy before declaring him/her a winner. If the student has an error, he/she has to quit this round and play continues until another student has a correct Bingo line. The winner gets a prize, like candy, etc. Then begin another game round. Total time allotted for all of Step Three can vary by five to ten minutes.

10. Review any terms and definitions that seem to be giving students problems after several rounds. Reword some identifications occasionally so that students can become familiar with alternate ways of identifying terms. The students may keep their Bingo sheets as part of their notes and throw away their markers.


Assessment may be in various forms:
1) Observation that all are participating.
2) Collect and check flashcards; formatively assess their work daily.
3) Oral feedback during discussion.
4) Test results on the terms following the completion of these activities.


1. These activities work with both middle and high school students. Slow or reluctant learners benefit from working in pairs or small groups.
2. Instruction in how to determine definitions/identifications and where to locate information may be necessary for some students before conducting this lesson.
3. These activities will work with any subject.

Attached Files

A “Study Bingo” play sheet for reproduction.     File Extension: pdf

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