Make your own Bingo cards with pictures

March 14, 2021

The Auld (Woolly)
Bingo! Using Environmental Print to Practice ReadingPublisher


This lesson puts a new twist on the familiar game of Bingo. Instead of using chips to mark off numbers on a playing card, students use recognizable signs, logos, and labels as part of a game that promotes literacy learning. By playing this form of Bingo, emerging readers in kindergarten and first grade are encouraged to practice their reading skills using a variety of environmental print materials. First, students match logos and images to their matching words. They then use the logos and images to create their own Bingo cards, which they read with a partner. After playing Bingo in which they match images to images, they play by matching the logos on their cards to the logo words with the supporting colors and graphics removed.


Students can use this template to create their own unique bingo cards.


Prior, J., & Gerard, M.R. (2004). . Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • High-impact environmental print symbols are the first exposure young children have to the code system of written symbols.
  • Research indicates that children must construct a "cognitive anchor" for mapping sounds onto written code symbols. Environmental print can be this anchor.
  • Adult instruction is the key element to effectively using environmental print to teach beginning reading skills. When an adult draws attention to the letters and sounds in environmental print words, children are more likely to transfer this knowledge to decontextualized print (text without graphics).


Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.

Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).


  • Bingo chips
  • Cardboard
  • Glue or tape
  • A laminating machine (optional)
  • Environmental print materials
  • Transparencies and a projector


1. Before teaching this lesson, you will want your students to be familiar with reading environmental print. For that reason, you may want to teach “I Know That Word! Teaching Reading With Environmental Print” and “Stop Signs, McDonald’s, and Cheerios: Writing With Environmental Print”. At the very least, you will want to teach the first session from either of these lessons (it is the same for both). To do this, you will need to complete Steps 2 and 3 (see below). 2. If you have taught either of the lessons listed in Step 1, you have a collection of images you can use for this lesson. If not, you will be using examples of signs, labels, and logos with your students and should have a collection available for them to make Bingo cards. These can come from product packaging (e.g., cereal boxes, soda cans), fast food containers, store bags, or magazines. Some of these images should come specifically from your immediate community (e.g., the sign in front of your school or street signs from main streets in town). You might consider taking photos of local signs with a digital camera or scanning in pictures that you cut out of local magazines or brochures. You will want to resize these images so that they fit into a square on the Bingo Card Template. You can do this by scanning the images and then using software or a photocopier to resize them. You want between 18 and 27 images. 3. You can also use the Internet to capture images of signs, logos, and product labels as follows: a. Go to Google Image Search and type in the name of a sign, company, or product you would like to use (for example, type in the words stop sign). b. On the page that opens with images, click on the image that is simplest and will copy most clearly; then click on the link that says See full-size image. c. When this image opens, right-click on the image. A drop-down menu will appear. Click on the word Copy. d. Using Microsoft Word or another word-processing program, open a blank document and paste the image in. You will want to resize the image so that it can fit into a square on the Bingo Card Template.
4. Print two copies of each image you have collected and resized. Cut out one copy of each and paste them onto cardboard – you will use these to show students the logos in Session 1 and to play Bingo. Make multiple copies of the rest for students to use when making their Bingo cards.

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