Fact: Kids and games go together like peanut butter and jelly, whether it be for math, language or spelling games.
In my 5th grade classroom, I found games to be a very fun and engaging way to review and reinforce material we had learned in class. Some of the spelling games we play are for pairs, teams, and the entire class. Read on to discover ways to make spelling lessons more fun!
Spelling Games For Everyone
Every Monday, my students receive a new spelling list for the week. We look through the list, notice any patterns or tricky words, and then we read through it using the say-spell-say technique (we say the word, spell it one letter at a time, and then say it again.)
We do this drill each week and I am always on the lookout for my say-spell-say champion of the day – the student who is on-task, speaking loudly and clearly, and following along.
As we go through the list, they have to follow my pace and my volume. Sometimes I’ll slooooowwww wwwaaaayyyy doooowwwwnnnn or speak in a whisper voice. Sometimes I’ll lead them in a high-pitched, operatic voice – I love hearing the boys go into falsetto!
Every week we have “Spelling Game Thursday” to review for the spelling test on Friday. For many kids, it was a highlight of their week – and it really motivated the kiddos to study because they had to know their words to play successfully.
Here are 5 FUN & ENGAGING spelling games that you can play – with any list!
To play this game, you’ll need to divide your class into two teams (you can split the class based on where they are sitting, by gender, by number, etc.). Call two students up to the front of the room (one from each team) and have them stand back-to-back.
Call out a word and begin spelling it, one letter at a time. Each time you say a letter, the students take one step away from one another.
After 2 or 3 letters, clap your hands. The students must spin around to face you and raise their hand if they know the next letter in the word.
If they are correct, they must spell the entire word correctly to earn a point. If they are incorrect, the other play gets a chance to say the next letter and spell the entire word.
Want to know one of my best dollar-store-finds for the classroom? Flyswatters! Put a fly swatter in a kid’s hand and voila! Instant engagement.
Divide the student into two teams and call up a student. Ask him to spell one of our spelling words. If he can correctly spell the word, then he gets to “slap” (with a fly swatter) a fly and then will add or subtract the points to his team’s score.
Once everyone has had a turn, the team with the most points wins!
Click here to check out the Slap that Bug! Printables in my Educents store.
Boys vs. Girls
This is a whole-class version of spelling games that involve some friendly boys vs. girls competition. Get two pieces of large construction paper stapled together – one side is blue (boys) and one side is pink (girls).
Call out a spelling word and then hold up my paper. If the blue side is showing, then the boys start to say-spell-say the word. Then flip the paper, the girls have to pick up exactly where the boys left off.
Sometimes I’ll let one group spell the entire word, half the word, or flip the paper back and forth several times in one word. The students need to pay close attention to the teacher and be thinking of how to spell the word in their head as we go. It’s an effective game for keeping every student involved – and on their toes!
Zoo Spelling Game
For this game, all you need is a pack of animal flash cards and a spelling list. I found animal flash cards at the dollar store. I usually tell my students to play this game in pairs, but the entire class can play together as well.
Here’s how to play:
Player 1 will read a word from the spelling list.
Player 2 writes that word down on the tracking paper. If it is spelled correctly, Player 1 chooses an animal card to add to their zoo. If it is incorrect, they do not draw a card.
Then Player 2 will read a word for Player 1 to spell and will repeat the process.
The first player to collect 10 animals in their zoo is the winner!
This is probably my students’ favorite game!
You will need a dice, a brown paper bag (or any type of envelope or container), “Spelling Surprise Cards,” and a spelling list.
Here’s how to play: Divide the students into two teams. Call up a student from Team 1 and give him a word to spell. If he is correct, he draws a “Spelling Surprise” from a brown paper bag. The unique part of this game is that the “Spelling Surprises” vary greatly – some examples are:
The teacher (or designated scorekeeper) will add or subtract points accordingly. This is a great mental math practice as well!
Repeat the process with a player from Team 2. Continue until each student has had a turn. Note: If a student spells a word incorrectly, I usually give them an extra turn after all students have gone, if time permits.
At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins!
You can purchase this Spelling Surprise Review Game from my Educents store.
So there you have it! You are now equipped with 6 new fun and engaging spelling games that you can try in your classroom or home. I guarantee that your students will love playing them – and their spelling skills will increase too!
About the All-Star Blogger
Jessica Lawler is a wife, passionate teacher turned teaching resource creator, mom of a sweet baby boy, blogger (“Joy in the Journey”), reader, baker, and crafting enthusiast.