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Add variety and spice to your spelling routines
Learning how to spell words is one of the most useful and important lifelong skills that our learners can acquire. Even though we are living in a technological age with spell checks and the like, knowing how to spell plays an important role in reading and writing. Readers need to understand phonics as well as knowledge of sight words. You’ll find that in our e-classroom language units, spelling practice is a weekly task. Our problem as teachers lies in how to get spelling rules to stay in our learners’ memories. Here are fifteen great ideas for you to practice using in class to make spelling a fun and enjoyable experience. You can adapt these ideas and add your own accordingly!
ACTIVITIES THAT INVOLVE WRITING
Let’s start with the most basic method that we all probably use regularly: Look-Cover-Say-Write-Check. In this method of learning to spell the learners look at a word and cover it with their hand. They then say the word before writing it. After writing it they check. If the word is incorrect, they start the process again.
2. Flashcard spelling
In this activity, you would have the spelling words written out on flashcards. The learners write in their books. You show the learners a word and then hide it. The learner writes it down. At the end, you can show them the words and they either tick their correct words or correct their incorrect words.
3. Spelling scramble
In this activity, the learners fold a page into three columns. In the first column, they write their words as you call them out. In the second column, they jumble up the letters in the words. They use scissors and cut off the first column. Later in the day or the next day, they try to unscramble the words they wrote.
ACTIVITIES THAT INVOLVE DRAWING
4. Spiral spelling
In this activity, the learners draw a spiral on a piece of paper. Start in the middle and then draw about three rows of a spiral. The learners then write out their words five times each around the spiral. They start on the outside of the spiral. The repeated action of writing out the word helps it to stick.
5. Spelling scribble
The learners draw one of those attractive scribble designs that have enough place for them to write in their spelling words. They do these five times using different colours each time. This results in an attractive, colourful scribble picture.
6. Graffiti Wall spelling
The learners draw a wall with four rows with three bricks in each. As you call out the spelling words, the learners write them graffiti style using colour and different fonts in the brick tiles of the wall.
7. Spiders web spelling
The learners draw a spider’s web. They then write their words in the spaces in the web five times each. They can use colour if desired - a different colour for each group of words.
8. Colourful spelling
The first time the learners write the word they write it in pencil. The second time they write it in crayon. The third time they write it with a coloured pen or a marker.
SPELLING GAME THAT INVOLVES MOVEMENT
9. Spelling hopscotch
Draw the hopscotch pattern outside using chalk. Number the squares from 1 - 8. numbering the squares from 1 to 8. As you call a word, the learners jump the hopscotch pattern. When they get to the top they turn around and spell the word. You can say ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. They jump back to the beginning and spell the word again. If they get it right they gain a point. The player with the most points wins.
10. Air writing
As you call out a spelling the learners write it in the air with their pointy finger, and they whisper the letters as they write. This can also be done in the form of back writing. Place the learners in pairs. They take turns writing on each other’s backs as you call out the words.
11. Bounce a ball spelling
Give each pair of learners a ball. They take it in turns to bounce the ball and spell the words as you call them out. They use one bounce per letter.
12. Catch the ball spelling
Place the learners in pairs and give each pair a ball. They could roll the ball to one another or throw the ball to each other after they have spelt a word that you call out. A variation of this would be for the learners to just say the 1st letter and throw the ball. `the partner says the 2nd letter and throws back the ball etc.
13.Spelling Word Race
For this activity, you divide the class into two teams and you use the white or green board. One player from each term takes part at a time. That player takes the pen or the chalk, depending on the board. When a word is called out, they race to the board to see who can write it first. `the winning team gains a point.
14. The Invisible Man spelling game
This is a team spelling game. Divide the class into two teams. Each team draws a stick figure on the board with the same number of parts. Give each team a word to spell in turn. In this game, the team tries to make their team ‘‘invisible’ before the other team does by erasing a part of the body when they spell a word correctly. The stick figure remains unchanged if the word is spelt incorrectly. The first team to make his man invisible wins!
15. Sitting in a circle spelling
The class sits in a big circle or smaller circles. As you call out a word, each person spells one letter of the word. Then the next word is called out, and the next few learners spell the word one letter at a time.
Your learners should have a lot of fun with these spelling activities. Why not try one activity each week and see how it affects our learners’ spelling?