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Accounting Basics - Cribbingo

Developed by Susan M. Moncada, Ph.D., CPA, Professor of Accounting, Indiana State University
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Initial Publication Date: August 11, 2010


Accounting is the language of business. As a result students must grasp the vocabulary associated with the discipline to have a fundamental understanding of financial reporting. This activity is a combination of the five-card Cribbage game and the board game Bingo. It makes use of game theory as an alternate way to cover content that would typically be part of a lecture. Cribbingo fosters class participation by making learning fun. In addition, the Cribbingo lecture can be adapted to classes taught in many disciplines, including the sciences and world languages.

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Learning Goals

As a result of completing this activity, students should be able to:

  • Identify the components of a classified balance sheet
  • Identify and compute measures for analyzing a company's profitability.
  • Identify and compute measures for analyzing liquidity and solvency.
  • Explain and apply financial reporting concepts.

Context for Use

  1. During the class prior to the Cribbingo Lecture, students are informed that instead of having a lecture on the next chapter, they will be playing Cribbingo. Students are to read and study the assigned chapter and be prepared to answer questions during the next class period. Depending on the class size, everyone will be asked at least one question.

  2. Instructor prepares questions that correspond with the content to be covered in class. I have my Accounting Basics questions in a PowerPoint presentation with the answers located in the notes that accompany each slide (file attached below). If the PowerPoint questions are to be provided to students prior to class, the answers should be deleted from the note pages. Each student in the class is asked at least one question. The instructor elaborates on the student's response if necessary.

Teaching Materials

  • Accounting Basics Questions (PowerPoint presentation with solutions shown in the notes section). This particular set of questions coincides with Chapter 2 of the Kimmel, Weygandt, & Kieso, Accounting tools for business decision making, 3rd edition, principles of accounting textbook. PowerPoint Questions for Instructor (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 558kB Aug6 10)
  • Cribbingo cards (24 included in the attached files)Cribbingo-image Cribbingo board21 (Acrobat (PDF) 137kB Sep22 10) Cribbingo boards2 (Acrobat (PDF) 171kB Sep22 10) Cribbingo boards3 (Acrobat (PDF) 137kB Sep22 10)
  • Deck of playing cards
  • Prizes (candy, quarters, etc.) or bonus points for each Cribbingo achieved.
  • A grand prize or additional bonus points for highest Cribbage score earned.
  • Class roster for tallying bonus points.

Teaching Notes and Tips

How to play Cribbingo
  1. Instructor asks a question. When a student responds correctly a card is turned over from the deck of cards. Students, who have the playing card displayed on their Cribbingo board, place an X over the image of the card.
  2. When a student does not know the correct answer, the question passes to the person to the right (or left, depending on the layout of the room). The person who answers a passed question correctly, gets to peg 1 point on the Cribbage board. If the question is passed twice, the person answering it, pegs two points, etc.
  3. When students have a Cribbingo (5 cards in a row), they declare "Cribbingo" and are given a prize or bonus points.
    • Cribbingo can only be achieved with five cards in a row, vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
    • Students also peg (fill-in) the points earned from the cribbage hand that forms the bingo sequence on the cribbage pegboard displayed at the bottom of each Cribbingo card.
    • The point values of each cribbage hand have been included at the top of each vertical row and to the right of each horizontal row. The points for a diagonal Cribbingo can be found near the upper left and upper right corners of each cribbage card.
  4. To record the bonus points awarded, the instructor can place a check mark next to the students' names on the class roster every time they declare "Cribbingo." The total bonus points awarded can be tallied after class. As an alternative, students could be required to place their names on their Cribbingo worksheets and submit them at the end of class.
  5. Play continues with the same card. As a result a student may declare "Cribbingo" more than once. Every time "Cribbingo" is declared, the winners are given a prize or bonus points. In addition, they add their additional Cribbingo points to the amount previously recorded on the Cribbage pegboard. At the end of the class time, the student with the most "Cribbingo" points receives a grand prize or bonus points.
Determining Points per Cribbage hand:
  • Ace cards represent the number "1."
  • Face cards represent the number "10."
  • All other cards are the value indicated.
Card Combinations and Points Earned.
  • Unique card combinations that sum to 15 = 2 points
  • Each pair = 2 points
  • Three of a kind = 6 points
  • Four of a kind = 12 points
  • 3 or more cards in sequence, any card combination = 3-5 points
  • 4 or 5 cards of the same suit = 4-5 points
  • Jack as the center-most space on the board = 1 point.


The activity itself is a type of formative assessment. Concepts included in this activity are assessed on a unit examination.

References and Resources