Student engagement is essential for any learning experience. In order to keep your students active and attentive during spelling lessons, it’s important to mix-up your teaching methods.
Discover how to make learning spelling fun with these eight spelling exercises designed to make learning (and teaching) a blast.
1. Create rhymes and raps using spelling
Part of teaching students new spelling words is to engage them beyond the classroom. Using rhymes and raps to help students better understand the words that they’re trying to learn is a fun way to achieve this. Fun rhymes that incorporate spelling can stick in the mind like catchy tunes that you hear on the radio.
Students make associations between words that rhyme, and the addition of rhythms and raps means students are more likely to start humming them outside of class. This strategy also makes committing them to memory easier.
2. Create a spelling wall in the classroom
At the beginning of each week hang some butchers paper from one of the walls in the classroom and create a learning and spelling hub. Encourage students to write down words that they learn on the butchers paper. Students can also go up anytime and practice spelling different words for the week. You can also use additional materials like coloured crayons or markers, and even encourage students to draw pictures to associate with the words.
3. Make a fun crossword
Crosswords present an excellent opportunity to make learning spelling interesting, as they involve a more active type of learning than passive review techniques. Solving a crossword involves several useful skills including spelling, vocabulary and reasoning, and it helps kids to think about word definitions as well. Crosswords also have the advantage of engaging different learning styles.
You can give the crossword to individuals or break students up into small groups, encouraging them to work together and learn collaboratively. Filling in the blanks can also give students a sense of accomplishment, and completed crosswords can be hung on the classroom walls to recognise achievements.
4. Jumble word
Using plastic magnetic letter shapes, first spell out the word, then scramble the letters into the pile and have the student assemble the word again. As they advance, you can start with the word jumbled, and even have them assemble words from a letter pile.
5. Use arts and crafts to encourage spelling
Many students learn better when they’re being creative. This is especially true for visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners. Instead of using plain old pens and pencils to write out words, break out the art supplies and allows students to use paints, markers, crayons and other colourful creative implements to spell out words. This type of learning can also be a fun group activity as well, with students taking turns to write and spell out words. Younger students also love to use playdough to build each letter in their focus spelling words.
6. Create a game of word bingo
Everyone loves a game of bingo! You can adapt this popular game to create fun and interactive spelling lessons that the whole class will love. Here’s how:
- Write the weekly list of spelling words on the board.
- Provide each student with a blank spelling bingo card.
- Have each student write a different word from the list in each square on the bingo card. Then rub the list of words off the board.
- Call out a word from the list and ask students to raise their hands if they have that word on their card.
- The fastest student to raise their hand has to spell the word on the board. If they spell it correctly they get to cross the word off their card.
- The first student to cross off 5 words wins.
It’s important to incentivise a game like spelling bingo to ensure that all students participate. This game can also be completed in groups, which may encourage more active involvement.
7. Word heads
Remember the game celebrity heads, when you put the names of a celebrity on each person’s head and you try to work out who you are by asking questions? The same game can be played using spelling words. Students have to figure out which word they are by asking a bunch of questions with yes/no answers like:
- Am I a verb?
- Do I start with a vowel?
- Am I an animal?
Once they guess the word, they then have to spell it aloud. Word heads is fun because children play together to uncover their own solutions, encouraging collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking.
8. Build a word train
Have students spell out words on small cards and assemble them together based on certain rules. A couple you can try:
- Form a sentence: Each follow on word must help build a sentence
- Matching letters: The first letter of the next word must match the last letter of the previous word
Engage the entire class with fun spelling lessons
With so many different methods to teach your students to spell, there’s a great opportunity to get creative and encourage participation from the whole class. Experiment with these games (and maybe make some of your own) and discover which work best for your students. With so many to chose from, every lesson can be an adventure.