This set of seven (7) bingo cards is an effective and entertaining way for students in AP or college-level composition courses to practice recognizing logical fallacies and other devices in a film or other medium. Each card in the set includes the same set of fallacies, but the fallacies are arranged in a different order on each card.
Instructor should introduce the logical fallacies to the students before the activity begins.
Choose a film or other medium that is rich in logical fallacies. I used Michael Moore’s Sicko; a wide range of other options are available. This activity would be GREAT for analyzing presidential debates.
As the students watch the film, they will mark off the logical fallacies as they find them, jotting down enough of a description that they can describe the fallacy to you at the end of class. The first student to call out “BINGO” wins, though of course you can continue the film to its end and encourage the students to fill in every square on their cards. I kept a list of the students who called out “BINGO,” but I didn’t stop and check their cards until the film was over. If the students are very new to identifying logical fallacies, the instructor can stop the film after each BINGO (or at other times of his/her choice) to let the students share answers and ask questions.
Logical fallacies (and a few literary devices) included are:
Begging the question
Ad hominem fallacy
Poisoning the well
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy
If needed, the cards can be modified easily.
This is a GREAT activity for a day when a sub teaches class or when an instructor needs to get paperwork done – it’s an easy activity and the students will enjoy it and learn a ton.
No answer key is provided – answers will vary and instructors must be prepared to evaluate and explain answers.