Do you see any spelling bees in your students' future? Start small with weekly classroom spelling bees and then advance onto regional and even national spelling bees. It fosters such a strong sense of self-confidence in students and will spark a lifelong love for reading and writing.
If you're hoping to help your child or student capture his or her first spelling bee trophy, the Scripps National Spelling Bee consolidated word lists are a great place to start. They're not only helpful educational tools, they're the springboard to a future filled with scholastic success.
Word Lists for Spelling Study
While many people believe those who compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee are highly gifted students, the process of preparing for the competition is still quite rigorous. It's not uncommon to hear students say they study words for several hours per day, reading obscure literary texts to develop their vocabulary skills, or quizzing each other straight out of the dictionary.
If you're interested in having more words to study, there are several ways to obtain study word lists:
- Enrolled schools can receive study words for each grade level. A teacher or spelling bee coordinator can register online at www.spellingbee.com, pay the enrollment fee, and obtain 100 study words prepared for each grade level in grades 1-8.
- In the meantime, you can enjoy these word lists, prepared by Scripps, for your students.
- Spell It! contains activities to be practiced after students have mastered the school spelling bee study list.
- Merriam Webster's Word Central allows students to play some fun word games, while reinforcing their spelling acumen.
- Mental Floss published a fun article, detailing 20 winning words from past National Spelling Bees.
Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition
The Scripps National Spelling Bee was instituted in 1925. It's a competition run on a not-for-profit basis by the E. W. Scripps Company in conjunction with local sponsors.
- Eligibility: The Bee is open to students that haven't passed beyond the eighth grade and are winners of sponsored American regional spelling bees as well as the top young spellers from Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, and the Bahamas.
- Timing: Every fall and winter schools have local competitions and then send their winners to the next level of competition.
- Event: The event is televised and takes place in Washington, D.C.
- Prizes: The winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee receives a $40,000 cash prize and engraved trophy, along with a selection of reference books from Merriam Webster and Encyclopedia Britannica. Pizza Hut will also throw a pizza party at the champion's school. Smaller awards are given to top-ranking finalists in the competition. For examples, there's a $30,000 cash prize for second place and a $20,000 cash prize for third.
Additional Spelling Resources
In addition to studying consolidated word lists, competitive spellers will want to consider the following references:
- check out wordlists and spelling tips for various grade levels
- review lists of commonly misspelled words
- enjoy free spelling printables for every age
- look up the definitions and pronunciations for unfamiliar words you or your child encounters while studying and develop a knowledge of obscure words that often seem to be the ticket to a spelling bee championship.
- Scripps publishes the Bee's Great Words, Great Works reading list to get students excited with engaging, age appropriate books.
- Merriam-Webster's Vocabulary Builder is another great resource for students who want to develop their vocabulary skills as a way to improve their spelling capabilities. Quizzes are scattered throughout the book to test the reader's comprehension of the material.
What a Claim to Fame
Imagine winning a $40,000 cash prize before you've even entered the eighth grade? That's a nice little springboard for a future at any number of Ivy League universities.
But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Participating in a spelling bee is a great confidence builder, no matter where you rank among the finalists.
The best part is that top-notch spelling skills go hand in hand with a lifelong love for reading, and fewer things in life are more precious than that.