#118 Sound Effects Bingo

Published on June 20, 2007

=> Number Bingo – game for number learning
=> Sound Bingo! – listening game
=> Word Origins – “Bingo”
=> In the Next Issues

Number Bingo

If you know about using traditional number Bingo in the classroom, skip this section and go right to Sound Effects Bingo.

Most everybody is familiar with the game Bingo. In the most generic variant of the game players have a board or grid made up of squares. In each square is written a random number, like this:

15 02 89
71 05 11
26 64 20

One person (the “caller”) draws numbers written on slips of paper from a box. Then he calls out the number.

Each player marks the number on his playing card if he hears it called. The first player to complete a line—whether up, down, or diagonally—shouts out “Bingo!”

Students could draw a chart similar to the one above and write in their own numbers between 1-100 (or 1-30, or whatever—depends on the level of the class). The teacher or another student then calls out letters at random. Students listen for the number on their Bingo card and mark it when they hear it.

I’m sure many teachers have done number Bingo, but I’m repeating it because it will help us move on to Sound Effect Bingo.

Sound Effects Bingo

For sound bingo I have made recordings of 25 sounds.

1. Understand the Language of Sound

Handout the list of the 25 sounds. (I usually just dictate the sounds). Give students a few minutes to look it over. One easy way to proceed is to ask students to produce the sounds described, as best as they can. What is the sound of a chair creaking, of a crowd applauding, of glass breaking, etc.?

2. Bingo Card

Next each student will draw a Bingo card on a piece of paper. The card is always a square. It can have 3 rows by 3 columns, 4X4, or 5X5. I recommend 4 X 4 (for sixteen total squares) for intermediate groups.

3. Write Sounds Onto the Bingo Card

Now each student will choose sounds from the list of 25. (Again, the activity is adjustable; if a teacher thinks 25 sounds are too many, he/she need only list—and play—the first 10 or 12.) Each student can place any of the 25 sounds in any of the squares. Each square should have a different sound. (The sounds need not be written exactly as typed; students can abbreviate).

4. Listen
Now play the entire list of 25 sounds. When students here the sound corresponding to what they have written in a square, they can mark that square with an X. (Sometimes students will be unsure about sounds; that’s okay. They can be discussed and reviewed later).

5. The Winner
State the goal. The first student who Xs out an entire row, whether up, down, or diagonal, yells, “Bingo!” Ask the student to read back the sound descriptions to make sure all the sounds have been played.

6. Another Winner
Because we want to play more, let’s find a second winner. If the first winner’s line was ACROSS, ask for an UP/DOWN winner and a diagonal winner. The first students to complete a complete line of these will shout Bingo.

7. One More Winner
Our last winner will be the first to black out his whole card. The first person to write an X over all his sounds will call out “Bingo.”


a. Mix the sounds again. You can change the order of the sounds, and thus, play again and again. To do this you’ll need a sound editor (like the free Audacity, or GarageBand if you are lucky enough to have a Mac), but it’s not hard to learn.

b. Make your own sound effects dictations. There are 1000s of sounds on line. Those who have iTunes or a music player on their computer can download the sounds into a playlist, and, bingo, they have a list for the game of bingo.

c. Ask students to gather sound lists. They can create their own bingo games.

d. Get students with tape recorders, computers and microphones, or portable mp3 players to go out in the field and actually record their own sounds.

Word Origins: “Bingo”

Bingo is a kind of lottery, and it is based on an old Italian game. But in 1929, I man named Ed Lowe stopped at a carnival. People were playing Bean. A caller pulled wooden pieces with numbers written on them from a cigar box, then he called out the number. The players had cards with numbers written in squares, and when one of their numbers was called they placed a bean on the number. Thus, Beano.

Apparently Ed Lowe was taken with the game—and saw its moneymaking potential. He went back to New York and introduced the game to friends and acquaintances. During one game, a girl got very excited and instead of “Beano!” she blurted out, “Bingo!”

Lowe sold sets of cards and marketed the game as Bingo.

Now Bingo is an actual word. It’s an interjection used to express the sudden completion of an event, occurrence of an idea, or confirmation of a guess.

Example: You’re looking all over for your watch. You look under the bed, in the drawers, then check your coat pocket. You find it! “Bingo!”

The history comes from Gambling Times Guide to Bingo by Roger Snowden
and Strange Life.

Copyright 2007 Kevin McCaughey & I.M. Poosheesty

2 Responses to “#118 Sound Effects Bingo”

  1. Lena Says:

    Visit Lena

    I would like to use it but still I can’t download the sounds and I have problems with downloading the Audi….program,
    I guess the students will like the activity.
    very very good.

  2. Lena Says:

    Visit Lena

    I am sorry for my panic – “I can’t”. I downloaded everything from http://www.etseverywhere.com