The New Friends Bingo Icebreaker Activity

Lisa R. Parker

If your goal is to help students learn about one another and connect with students they may not usually talk to, then the New Friends Bingo icebreaker may be a good choice for you!

New Friends Bingo allows students to interact with one another while playing a modified version of Bingo. Using a Bingo table, details about potential student characteristics are recorded in each square. You might choose to record simple information about students like “has brown hair” or “owns a cat”; or you might have some fun and create more unique details that might help make some meaningful connections like “loves comics” or “speaks a language other than English or Spanish .”Students are then asked to roam around the classroom, introduce themselves to each other, and then attempt to find a detail that matches the person they are speaking to. If a student finds a friend with a detail on the Bingo card, he or she can record the student’s name in the square. This process will continue, with more and more students mingling and connecting until someone has enough names to fill up one entire vertical row or column or one entire horizontal row. The student can then yell “Bingo” and receive some kind of prize from the teacher, if you choose.

After completing the game of Bingo, ask students to discuss some interesting things they learned about one another in small groups or in a whole group setting. Allow students to open up and talk about any other details they want to share!
New Friends Bingo can be a simple way to ensure all your students get to interact with one another and start the year off with some close connections with classmates.

With the provided New Friends Bingo Template, create your own Bingo Card or use the completed elementary or secondary cards.

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