Remember how you tried to memorize that nasty-to-spell word in school? Back then kids were given lists of words, took them home for the week, memorized them, and took a test on Friday.
In some classrooms that still occurs today.
So how about making sure that your students have as much fun as possible while they have to tackle the vagaries of English spelling?
Here is a list of some of the most popular spelling games that can help ease the pain, make learning more fun, and surely open the way to successful future for your kids.
For Early and Elementary Age Learners
The goal is for these young ones to learn common sight words, long and short vowel sounds, and consonant word groups.
This app that has spelling games (along with lots of other vocabulary and reading games too), categorized by grade level and by objectives, and provides daily spelling lessons. There are plenty of free games, although a premium version is also available. Here’s an example of a practice game:
The game allows you to use the pre-loaded lists, by learning level, or you can create your own lists. Children can play alone or have contests with other students thus being a great substitute for an X-box. The amazing thing about this game is it gives a sentence that uses the word and a synonym – good bonuses.
2. Spin and Spell
Here is another app that is great for elementary age children. Categories can be selected as shown above. The child selects a picture from a category and then tries to spell it by clicking on the letters in the right order. As the students click, the wheel spins and the letter appears in the answer line. If they spell the word correctly, they hear the correct sound. If incorrect, the narrator asks the child to try again. The words are all at the elementary level (grades 1-5) – kids play on their own or compete with others.
3. Boggle Jr.
Created for early childhood through very early elementary, this is a child’s version of the adult game Boggle, so parents are going to enjoy it too. It’s not only a great game for kids to learn their letters, but also how to spell. There are two skill levels. There are 30 picture/word cards that all have low letter-count words. Students match the word on the card by putting the correct letter cubes in the slots. They can play solo or with a partner.
At the upper elementary levels, kids are able to stay focused for longer time, so spelling words become more complex but with the same fun.
4. TVO Kids – Spelling Fleas
Spelling Fleas is just one of five spelling mini-games offered by this Canadian-based organization. This game adds the competitive element of a time limit, which older kids tend to like. The words and the speed demands are also more complex. For example, one game is called “Falling Stars.” Words inside stars are dropped onto the screen, and student has to click on those words that relate to the universe.
5. Spelling City
This is not a single app or game. Rather, it is a company – a company that focuses on spelling and vocabulary games and other activities for students at all grade levels, and specifically designed to assist ESL students and their teachers. The company has over 32 games and activities, even some that begin to prepare middle school students for SAT vocabulary.
Good Spelling is a Process
Games are great ways for struggling students to improve their spelling, at all grade levels. Of course, the end goal is for students to learn to use their words to craft sentences, then paragraphs, and ultimately essays with correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Everything about mastering English skills, including spelling, is a process, and it is a huge challenge, especially for ESL students.
About the Author
Luisa Brenton, educational blogger and freelance writer for Top Writers Review, graduated from Chicago's Public Research University and is now working to become a professor. She sees her mission in helping students to find their own way to a balanced lifestyle and being able to cope with everyday assignments successfully.