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Lesson Plan

Bingo! Using Environmental Print to Practice Reading

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Bingo! Using Environmental Print to Practice Reading

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jennifer Prior, Ph.D.

Jennifer Prior, Ph.D.

Flagstaff, Arizona

Maureen Gerard

Maureen Gerard

Phoenix, Arizona


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



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.

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Bingo Card Template: Students can use this template to create their own unique bingo cards.

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Prior, J., & Gerard, M.R. (2004). Environmental print in the classroom: Meaningful connections for learning to read. 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).


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