National Spelling Bee Week is coming up! Are you ready? Spelling is an important aspect of both reading fluency and creative writing. National Spelling Bee Week aligns with the televised Scripps National Spelling Bee competition. The whole week is a great time to put together fun activities to improve spelling and help prepare your students. The following are 7 great spelling activities to use in your classroom!
Spelling Bee Poems
Since many spelling lists include words with similar phonetic sounds, it’s easy to create fun poems using spelling words. After the poems have been written, have students brainstorm more words with the same phonetic sounds. They can even illustrate their poems and put them into a booklet. Spellcheck cards are a great resource to help students spell all the words in their poems correctly.
Using plastic eggs and individual letter tiles, place all the letters for a single word into each egg. Then, divide the class into teams to see who can spell words the fastest. Whichever team correctly spells all the words first wins. For an added challenge, give the teams more than one egg so they will need to spell several words to win.
The Jumping Game
This is a physical activity that younger learners will enjoy. After printing large copies of spelling words, laminate and tape the papers to the floor. While you read the words, have your students stand in line and take turns jumping on the word and then spelling it. If you have lots of space, tape large letters to the floor and have your students jump from letter to letter to spell each word.
Fun Phonics Lessons
Incorporating phonics is a great way to teach children spelling. School Specialty offers Explode The Code® to build reading skills and vocabulary, while also focusing on spelling. This literacy program introduces children to skills involving decoding, vocabulary, spelling, fluency, comprehension, and phonological awareness. There are a variety of booklets and activities teachers can use to create fun activities for children at various grade levels.
The Explode The Code Wall Chart is a colorful felt wall chart with letter pockets containing tangible felt objects that reinforce the keywords for the 26 letters of the alphabet and their sounds. The accompanying Activity Book provides ideas for several activities and games to further aid in learning the names and sounds of the letters taught in Books A, B, C, and 1.
Classroom or School Spelling Bee
Hosting an all-class or all-school spelling bee is a fun, competitive way to help students learn their words. Students of all ages can participate, and with National Spelling Bee Week happening at the end of May, now is a good time to help prepare those who want to compete. Words from previous weeks should be used in the spelling bee.
Word Searches and Crossword Puzzles
You can use a variety of online programs to create your own word searches using spelling words. Make complex word searches for your older students, or keep them simple with only a few words for the younger ones. Both word searches and crossword puzzles can incorporate current spelling words, as well as those from a few weeks back, for review.
To engage your older students, pass out copies of current newspapers to individual students or groups. Then ask the class to go through the newspaper and find each of their spelling words in print—they can either circle them or cut them out. This is a good way to not only reinforce spelling but also to encourage students to keep up with current events.