teaching resource

Prefix Bingo

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 31 pages | Grades: 3 - 5

Match prefix words to their definition by identifying the meaning of the prefix and the root word through a familiar game of BINGO.

How can you build your students’ vocabulary on top of words they already know?

With prefixes!

Prefixes are added to the beginning of a word, changing it into another word. 

For example, your students know the word “happy.” When you add the prefix “un” to happy it changes the definition to the exact opposite. 

And your students just learned a brand new word! 

Build a Bigger Vocabulary with Prefix BINGO

Use this resource in your reading center, as a guided group activity, or a whole class exercise (see below) to review words with prefixes and identify their meaning. 

Each student will get a BINGO card and counters to keep track of drawn words. To play, pull a calling card and read the definition out loud to the students, e.g., not happy. Students cover the word with a counter if it appears on their BINGO card, e.g., unhappy. Remind students to call out “BINGO!” when they have covered 5 words in a row on their card. Then have the students read each word on their card as you check them against the cards you called.

Through this activity, your students will demonstrate the ability to decode a word’s meaning using their knowledge of the most common prefixes and the root word. 

The prefixes students will apply in this activity are:

  • un
  • re
  • dis
  • de
  • uni
  • mis
  • pre
  • up
  • bi
  • tri

Scaffolding + Extension Tips 

Challenge students who already understand the concept to identify the prefix and root word and use the word in a sentence. 

Assign peer partners to support students who need help understanding the concept. Students can also use a prefix poster or an anchor chart as a visual reference of common prefix meanings. 

Get our 10 Best Scaffolding Strategies here! 

Many More Opportunities For Fun with Prefixes

Use this resource as independent practice for fast finishers, and full-class learning opportunities like scoot activities, lesson reviews, formative assessments, and more.

❌ Alternate Forms of BINGO

In addition to 5-in-a-row, opt to play by covering the game boards in the following patterns:

  • 4 Corners
  • Plus sign
  • Blackout
  • X out

🧑‍🏫 Show Me!

Give each student a mini dry-erase board and a dry-erase marker. Project a game board and work through each word by having your students write the word and draw a line between the prefix and the root word. When everyone has written down their answer, say, “Show Me.” Students will flip their boards, allowing you to see who needs extra support.

👯  Match Me If You Can

In your guided reading group, shuffle and divide the definition cards equally among players. Use a game board to provide a prefix word for students to decode. The student who has the matching definition card picture lays it face up in front of them. The first person to have all their cards face up wins.

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Print on cardstock for added durability and longevity. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access. 

Before You Download

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or Google Slides version of this resource. 

This resource was created by Kiri Sowers, a teacher in Illinois and Teach Starter Collaborator. 


Prepare your lesson plans with ease! We’ve got additional prefix teaching resources to save you time:


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