One of our favorite educational activities to do with the children is one we developed called “Reading Telescope and Bingo”. It involves creativity when they make and decorate a paper telescope and speaking, reading, spelling and identifying everyday objects in English. With this one activity we try to tap into every possible way a child can learn.
Everyone starts by making a paper telescope and decorating it with markers, sequins, feathers, stickers, glitter glue…you name it! Then with their Hope Shines group leader, they rotate through different reading stations. Each station has objects clearly labeled in English. The children learn the words with the help of their group leader. Once they are comfortable with the new words and pronunciation, the written labels are hidden. The volunteer then calls out the objects in English and asks the children to look through their fancy handmade telescope to identify them. In the next step, they must recall the words by saying them out loud and spelling them when the group leader points to the object. If the child is more advanced with their English skills the volunteer asks them to make up a sentence involving the objects in front of them and say it out loud. Regardless of their level, each child has an opportunity to shine, be congratulated, praised and encouraged.
After each group has rotated through the reading stations we all sit down for a fun game of bingo! We explain the rules and tell them that people of all ages like bingo in America! We give them pre-made bingo cards printed with the words they just learned. We call out the words and with the help of their group leader they play the game until someone yells “BINGO!”. We play several rounds to really try and solidify the words in their memory. Each time a child wins and screams “BINGO!” everyone gets really excited!
Here are a few pics of “reading telescope and bingo”!