The other day I noticed Simon snuggled in on the couch reading another fantasy book. Reading the same genre is okay. Really. But I want my kids to at least take a bite of books from other categories.
I remember creating some book challenges for Elijah after he had read about fifteen-million mystery books. The trick worked–he began reading many different genres. Although he is a big fan of fiction, he’ll read just about anything I throw at him.
Simon is a good sport, too, and a bit competitive, so I decided to give him a challenge he wouldn’t be able to resist: Read 25 biographies.
This challenge comes in the form of a reading bingo game.
How Biography Bingo Works
- Print the Biography Bingo Board
- Determine if you will give your student a prize for his work.
- Let your student decide if he wants to read five in a row (a traditional bingo), or if he wants to accept the challenge of reading the entire board.
- Go to the library and get some books!
- Have your student mark them off as he reads. You can be fancy and use a bingo marker, but we just used plain-old-markers because we aren’t fancy.
Our Favorite Biography Series
Through the years my voracious readers have read a lot of biographies. These series have stood out above the rest, and you will be able to find options for every category if you use these series:
Biography Bingo Book Suggestions
Here are some suggestions for your student for his bingo board:
- Astronaut or Astronomer: Neil Armstrong, Maria Mitchell, Galileo, John Glenn
- Person of Royalty: Princess Diana, Queen Victoria, Henry VIII, Marie Antoinette
- Explorer: Leif Erikson, Ernest Shackleton
- Entertainer: Harry Houdini, Jim Henson, Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin
- Composer: Mozart, George Gershwin
- Movie Director: George Lucas, Alfred Hitchcock
- President: Thomas Jefferson, Harry Truman, William Henry Harrison, Andrew Jackson
- Singer: Mahalia Jackson, The Beatles, Elvis Presley
- Native American: Sacagawea, Geronimo
- Famous Woman: Amelia Earhart, Anne Frank, Helen Keller, Clara Barton
- Poet: James Whitcomb Riley, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou
- Cowboy or Cowgirl: Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill
- Scientist: Albert Einstein, John Audubon, Jane Goodall, Marie Curie, George Washington Carver
- Missionary: Mother Teresa (or any from the YWAM series)
- Pioneer: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Daniel Boone
- African American: Harriet Tubman, Phillis Wheatley
- First Lady: Martha Washington, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abigail Adams
- Author: Maurice Sendak, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, Jane Austen
- Athlete: Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Pele
- Inventor: Ben Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison
- Artist: Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol
- Actor or Actress: Christopher Reeve, William Shakespeare, Lucille Ball
- Political or Spiritual Leader: Ghandi, Pope Francis, Winston Churchill
- Person from Ancient History: King Tut, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great
Simon hasn’t finished the challenge yet, but he has read oodles of biographies, and he’s still interested in reading more! He snuck in a fantasy book today (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea), but I don’t mind one bit.