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Create Custom Image Bingo Cards

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Bingo is a great way to liven up boring vocabulary or grammar practice that language teachers like myself have to drag our students through. Simply collect some images based on the target vocabulary/grammar, make them into bingo cards for your students, and then play bingo by reading out words/sentences which uniquely identify an image. The hardest part of the process is making a random/unique bingo card for each of your students, and that's what BingoCardMaker does for you.

BingoCardMaker automates the process of generating random bingo cards from a group of images. The cards it creates are highly customizable; you can change their size, title, colours, output format, and filenames -- all through a user-friendly interface. Below are some sample bingo cards made with it.

Sample Bingo Cards -- Click an image to view the full size bingo card
Sample 1 Sample 2 Sample 3

Black on Grey, Free Space, PNG File

4x4, Red on White, 640x480 Image

Blue on Green, Free Space, Extra Spacing

Here's how I used the above bingo games in class:

  1. Animal Bingo: Using flashcards, I first taught the kids some animal names. Then I ran bingo by randomly reading out the animal names I taught. Simple vocabulary bingo like this is great for younger classes like nursery school, kindergarten, and early elementary school.
  2. 'Be + Verbing' Bingo: I used this for a junior high school class when we covered the present progressive (be + verb-ing) tense, ie: "am eating", "is running", etc. I made a present progressive sentence for each picture in the bingo card and then read them out for the bingo game. For example, the sentences I used for the images in the top row were: "He is studying math", "They are playing soccer", "We are playing baseball", and "I am drinking juice".
  3. Clothes Shopping Bingo: This was for a high school class when we studied shopping conversations. Each image had a short dialogue between a clerk and a customer which uniquely identified it. For example, the first image (a blue shirt) had the following dialogue:

    Clerk: Hello. Can I help you?
    Customer: Yes, I'm looking for a new shirt.
    Clerk: Well, we have some nice blue ones... How's this?

    Using all sorts of shopping dialogues like that, the students were able to practice listening comprehension while playing bingo.

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Free for Everyone

BingoCardMaker is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) which means it's available for free to everyone, though it was originally designed for teachers. Specifically, it was designed for foreign language teachers who often need simple games for motivating their students to practice new vocabulary or grammar points.

GPL Version 3 Logo

Of course, if you feel like showing your appreciation, you're always welcome to donate.

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No Fancy Requirements

BingoCardMaker is built in Java, which means it will work on any computer, no matter what (as long as Java is installed). If you'd like an explanation how Java works and why I used it, then please read this page.

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First you'll need to get Java, version 6 or later. Please note that Java version numbers are sometimes written with a preceeding 1, for example: "Java 6" is sometimes called "Java 1.6". Regardless, please follow the steps below.

  1. Go to Java's homepage.
  2. Follow the instructions to download and install Java.

Once you've got Java 6 (or later) installed, you can get BingoCardMaker. Please follow the steps below.

  1. Download BingoCardMaker 7.1 (the latest version).
  2. Save the file somewhere that you can easily access once the download is finished.
  3. When the download is finished, go to the place where you saved the file. Now open it as you normally would for any file you've downloaded. For example, on Windows you'd double-click it.
  4. BingoCardMaker should now run. Please note that it can take a minute to load, so do not be alarmed if it doesn't open immmediately.

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Get Started

BingoCardMaker will take you through a four step specification process, in which you tell it what kind of bingo cards you want. Then it will generate bingo cards based on your specifications. The four specification steps are as follows:

  1. Decide how you want your cards designed.
  2. Choose which images you want to use for the bingo squares.
  3. Configure the output format of the cards, ie: choose what kind of image will be used to save the cards (JPG, BMP, etc).
  4. Decide where you want the cards placed (on your computer) and how to name their files.

Below are screenshots of each step. Please note that BingoCardMaker will mimic the look and feel of your computer. The screenshots below were taken on a Windows XP computer, so BingoCardMaker has made itself look and feel like a Windows XP program.

BingoCardMaker Screenshots -- Click an image to view the full size picture
Panel 1 Screenshot Panel 2 Screenshot Panel 3 Screenshot Panel 4 Screenshot Panel 5 Screenshot

Step 1: Design Options

Step 2: Image Selection

Step 3: Output Options

Step 4: File Options

Step 5: Preview/Create!

I've tried to make everything as self-explanatory as possible, so using BingoCardMaker should be straightforward. However, if you do encounter something you don't understand here are some things you can do:

  1. Don't worry about it. Most everything has a default setting which is more than sufficient, and BingoCardMaker will tell you if you've missed something.
  2. Play with it. I've designed BingoCardMaker to be very robust, so that nothing you do will break it (I hope). Feel free to mess around with things in order to learn how they work.
  3. Starting in Version 7.0, there's a Preview option in the last panel. You can use this feature to see what your bingo cards will look like, then go back and change something if you're not satisfied.

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Get Images

I gather images from many different sources. Below are some of the more useful places that I've found.

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If you find BingoCardMaker truly useful and would like to show your appreciation to me for creating and maintaining it, please feel free to leave a donation by clicking the button on the right. A kind donation, no matter the size, really shows me I'm creating something other people find genuinely beneficial and will justify me spending more time improving it.

Support This Project

Thanks, and enjoy!

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