How I Make Literary Element Review Engaging

Literary element review is crucial for students before state testing. As a new teacher, it is easy to assume that they will remember all of the amazing lessons from September until now. The reality? Kids have a million things they are learning all year, and some review is a great way to boost their confidence in their skills before taking on the test.

Literary Element BINGO! is my go-to activity for engagement with review. We do a quick Q&A before beginning, with me saying one literary element and the students who remember the definition answering. This should take a total of 5-10 minutes, and is just a warm-up for all students.

Then I have students go to my Student Center and choose their Bingo Card, while also picking up some chips to use. My first few years teaching I cut up some bright Post-It notes to use as chips – the kids never seemed to mind I didn’t have real plastic chips.

Then, I show my students the prize for winning a BINGO! Usually I have a stash of small candy, suckers, Homework Passes, or other dollar store finds that students can choose from if they win. While winning is usually motivation enough, I love to give out small prize as well to up the ante. I teach in a high-poverty district, so providing them small gifts often makes their entire day.

Tech Set-Up

While my students are choosing their cards, I display the cover from my Literary Elements Bingo Slides and play some upbeat music. The students start to buzz with excitement, even though we are about to review. I see them sit in their seats quickly – they have been reminded that the quieter they are, the more games we can get through (and the more winners there are!).

There are two ways to proceed with calling out. One is my printing off the definitions of the literary elements and verbally calling them out. I use this with my higher-level students who know the terms on a deeper level. Two is displaying the definition of the literary elements and reading the definition to the students. I use this with my lower-level students and middle schoolers who tend to need visual directions.

If you want to save some time, head over to my TpT store and download Literary Element BINGO! for your next review session.


You must decide before the game starts if you want students to “call out” the answer after you reveal the definition, or if you want students to remain silent and have to figure the term out for themselves. You know your students best, so make sure you make this clear before beginning the game.

Make sure you are keeping track of what words you are calling out. It is easy to get caught up in the moment of teaching and forget to have your own BINGO! card in front of you. If you have a co-teacher with you, ask them to keep track so you can focus on the lesson and assisting students who are really struggling (a little review for them, too!).


What do YOU do in your classroom for literary element review?

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