15th November 2018
Spelling is one of the most essential skills for young children to master and one that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.
Traditional spelling tests are far from exciting – even good spellers often dread them and children who are not naturally visual learners (according to the VAK model of learning) may have difficulty spelling.
To teach pupils their spellings without them feeling disengaged, try to incorporate spelling words into other activities such as warm up games to stimulate and challenge children from a multitude of angles.
This is a beneficial way to get your pupils familiar with using their spelling words in context and boosting their creativity, as well as learning the spellings themselves.
Give your pupils a set amount of time and a list of spelling words, then ask them each to write a story that involves all of their words. Get the children to write their spelling words in a different colour. Needless to say, all of the words must be spelt correctly!
Make sure you emphasise how long the stories must be – this can be anything from a sentence to a sheet of A4 depending on how long you have for the activity. You can also incorporate an element of art into the game by having children illustrate their stories once they have finished writing them.
Give each child a newspaper and give them a set amount of time to highlight every spelling word that they can find. See who has the most at the end of the activity and get children to read the sentences that incorporate the spelling words.
This is a good challenge because in addition to mastering the spellings themselves, it improves each pupil’s reading ability and knowledge of the English language in a way that is less predictable than reading exercises designed specifically for use in schools.
Divide children into pairs and give each pair a list of spelling words, a dice to share and a box of coloured pencils, crayons or pens. For each spelling word, they must take turns to roll the die and write the word down the number of times that the dice shows, using a different colour each time.
This is an ideal simple game for younger pupils. You can make this game more fast-paced by rolling a single dice yourself and calling out each word for the whole class to write down.
There are many commercially available word games which rely on excellent spelling and good knowledge of the English language. Set aside some time each week for your class to enjoy themselves and learn to spell at the same time.
Divide children into groups and give each one a game of Scrabble or Boggle. Explain the rules to the whole class before play starts and set them the additional challenge of incorporating as many of their spelling words into the game as possible, with a double score awarded for spelling words.
After their playing time has come to an end, get one member of each group to write all the words used up on the board and talk the whole class through them. Make sure that everyone in the class knows the meaning of all the words.
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