If you're hoping to help your child capture his or her first spelling bee trophy, the Scripps National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word Lists can be a helpful educational tool.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is a competition run on a not-for-profit basis by The E. W. Scripps Company. It is open to students under the age of 16 who are the winners of sponsored American regional spelling bees as well as the top young spellers from Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, and the Bahamas. The event is televised on ABC and takes place at the Grand Hyatt Washington hotel in Washington, D.C. The winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee receives a generous prize package that includes a cash award, college scholarship, and a selection of reference books from Encyclopedia Britannica. Smaller awards are also given to the top-ranking finalists in the competition.
While many people believe those who compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee are merely highly gifted students, the process of studying for the competition is quite rigorous. It's not uncommon to hear students describing studying spelling words for several hours per day, reading obscure literary texts to develop their vocabulary skills, or quizzing each other straight out of the dictionary. However, studying for a spelling bee can be a great confidence builder - even if the student doesn't eventually rank among the top finalists.
If you're interested in learning more about what it's like to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, you can download a PDF file containing over 100 Scripps National Spelling Bee Word Lists dating as far back as 1950 from the competition's Web site. This valuable study is free, but you'll need to be patient. The document is 794 pages and must be downloaded in four separate sections. In all, the document contains 23,413 unique words.
Just over 40% of the words on the Scripps National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word Lists include definitions, sentences, parts of speech, language origins, and pronunciation tips to help master the correct spellings. While Section One contains a preface, pronunciation key, and guide to the language of origin for specified words, the other three sections are devoted to listing words have been part of previous spelling bees. Section Two lists words which appear infrequently, Section Three lists words which appear with moderate frequency, and Section Four is devoted to the words which most frequently appear in the competition.
In addition to studying the Scripps National Spelling Bee Consolidated Word Lists, competitive spellers will want to consider reviewing the following reference books:
Of course, the yourDictionary Web site is a helpful tool for spellers of all ages. You can look up the definitions and pronunciations for unfamiliar words you encounter while helping your child to study or encourage your child to sign up for the "Word of the Day" e-mail newsletter to help develop him or her develop a knowledge of the obscure words that often seem to be the ticket to a spelling bee championship.