28 Open-Ended Question Bingo

Arley Cruthers

Activity Guidelines

Suggested Course Level

Lower level undergraduate courses

Activity Purpose

  • Students will practice asking open-ended questions, as a way to ask useful primary research questions.
  • Students will practice their interpersonal communication skills and networking skills.

Materials Required

  • Bingo sheets
  • Pens
  • Blank paper/ cue cards
  • Stickers (depending on the variation)

Activity Instructions

  1. Before the activity starts, get students to come up with one interesting thing about themselves that they think no other student in the class shares. (This could be “I have a twin” or “I’ve been skydiving” or as mundane as “I hate peanut butter.”) I usually have students generate these in an earlier class. If my class has a long break, I’ve also done this at the beginning of class, then printed the Bingo cards off during the break.
  2. Insert the interesting facts into the Bingo template and print it off.
  3. Give each student a Bingo sheet. Tell them that their goal is to talk to students in the class to find out who owns each interesting fact.
  4. In their conversation, they must only use open-ended questions. For example, if one Bingo square said “Is afraid of kittens,” students could ask “What are you afraid of?” but not “Are you afraid of kittens?” They also can’t ask “What’s your interesting fact?”
  5. Every time they find out someone’s interesting fact, they can cross off that box.
  6. The first one to get a line is the winner.

Debrief Questions / Activities

  • What was your strategy for the game?
  • What was it like avoiding closed questions?

Activity Variations

  • Give students a few stickers. Every time they catch a classmate asking a closed question, they put a sticker on that person’s paper. If the student gets 3 stickers, they have to sit out of the game for 2 minutes.

Additional Resources / Supplementary Resources

Tags: oral presentations, oral communication, research and documentation, whole class, self-reflection, game, asking questions, interpersonal communication, networking, getting to know you, ice breaker


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