Here is a collection of spelling word games that will make learning fun in the classroom. Some are for the whole class and some take teamwork.
A spelling word game than has been played a lot in classrooms is Sparkle. The basic game goes like this. The person in charge of calling out the words can be the teacher or a student. When the first word is called out, the first person starts spelling it, saying only the first letter. The second person says the second letter and so on down the line. Whoever says the last letter of the word turns to the next person and says "sparkle" or any other word of your choosing, like "Whoo-hoo" or "Gotcha." The person who would have been next is out, because he or she got "sparkled."
The game continues with the leader calling out another word. Any time a student misspells a word, that student is out. Some teachers have a student sit down if they are not paying attention and do not know it is their turn or do not remember the previous letter. This helps improve listening skills.
To play this game, the teacher writes the spelling word on Popsicle sticks or tongue depressors and puts them in a jar or other container. For every five words, add a stick with "KABOOM" or "SORRY" on it. If there are 20 words, there would be 4 extra Kaboom sticks.
Each student picks a stick without looking and hands it to the teacher. The teacher reads the word. If the student spells it correctly, they keep the stick. If they spell it wrong, the stick goes back into the jar. When a student picks the Kaboom stick, they have to put all their sticks that they have collected back into the pile. The game is over when there are no sticks left in the jar.
The last of the spelling word games for the whole class is Disappearing Man. It is played kind of like Hangman in reverse.
Draw two stick figures on the board, each with the same 10-15 parts. The class splits into two teams and the first person has to say the word, spell it, and say it again. If he or she is correct, he or she erases one part of the other team’s man. If the word is spelled wrong, it is the next team’s turn. Keep going until one man is no longer visible on the board.
Step and Spell uses a shower curtain that has the letters on it and a "start" and "finish" box. You could put the letters alphabetically or in keyboard order. The students sit on the floor around the shower curtain and one student stands on the "start" box and the teacher reads the word. The student goes to the first letter of the word, stands on it, says the letter, and goes on to the next one, finishing on the "finish" box. If they make a mistake, they start all over again.
Write the spelling words on index cards and hide them in plain sight all over the room. You can tape them to walls, windows, or wherever. Put the students in pairs and give each pair a spelling list.
They find the word and one student turns his back to the word and spells it. The second student puts a check by the word if it was spelled correctly. Then they switch places and do it again. If the student spells it wrong, have them look at it again and do it over. By the end of the game, they will have two checks by each word. This is great because the students are seeing it, saying it, and hearing it.
One student is the bee and buzzes around the room while the students chant: "Buzz, buzz, spelling bee, you can’t sting me." Or, you can make up your own rhyme. The bee stops behind a desk and the teacher gives that student a word to spell. If the student spells it correctly, then the bee has to sit down and the student is the new bee. If the student is wrong, the whole class spells it together. Continue until every student has a chance to spell. Another thing to do to keep the other students involved is to have them do a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" after the student spells the word.
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