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Three Style B.I.N.G.O.

Each week, Instant Meeting presents an idea or activity that you might use to make staff meetings more interesting, teacher-centered, educational, or fun.

Brief Description/Purpose

This activity can be used to "break the ice" in a new group; use it to learn participants' names and something about them.

Materials Needed

  • prepared BINGO cards (8-1/2" x 11" paper is fine)
  • one pencil or pen per participant

Time Required

More Ideas for
Instant Meetings

Be sure to see our Instant Meetings Archive for additional ideas.

And don't miss our Great Meeting series. Dee Kelsey and Pam Plumb offer a short course on creating meetings that work, based on their popular guide, Great Meetings. They present ideas to help you learn how to lead meetings that generate ideas; analyze problems; define a vision; evaluate ideas and make decisions; plan for long-range needs; encourage group participation and keep groups on track; and much more.


Depending on the size of the group, this exercise will take 10-30 minutes.

"Instant Meeting" Idea

Before You Begin
Prepare 3 different BINGO cards, each with 5 spaces across and 5 down. In each space, include a blank line (on which participants will write a person's name) and then a descriptive phrase, for example: --- went hiking this summer,
--- visited a library within the last 10 days, or
--- has a dog.
See additional BINGO-card ideas below.

The Activity
Warm-up activities give people a structured way to interact and create a level of familiarity. This activity is especially valuable for a newly-formed group, for example teachers coming together for the new year, a new parent support group, a fund-raising committee, and so on. Providing a goal and a time limit encourages people to engage in the exercise.

Ahead of time shuffle the three versions of the BINGO card, and write instructions on a flipchart as follows:

  • Introduce yourself to another group member and find out if any of the BINGO statements fits that person.
  • If so, write that person's name in the space. (If the group is small, let people know they can use one person up to 3 times; if the group is larger, use each person only one time.)
  • Move on to a new person and repeat the process until you have a full card.

You might provide small prizes for people as they get BINGO (5 down, across or diagonally), or encourage them to join someone who hasn't finished to help them get all their spaces filled.

Partial Example:

Has run in a
Road race
Likes to
Has never
been to Calif.
Has performed
on a stage
Went to summer
Has held
public office
Has coached
a sport
Loves warm
Has 2 children
Is a vegetarian
Still has a
friend from
junior high
Favorite color
is yellow
Visited the
library in the
last 10 days
Has traveled cross country
Likes Monopoly

This idea was submitted by Dee Kelsey and Pam Plumb, authors of Great Meetings, Great Results!