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Friday, June 1, 2012

10 Activities to Help Your Students Prepare for Spelling Bees

Last night the National Spelling Bee champion was named. The champion speller for 2012 is Snigdha Nadipati. Watch her spell the winning word in the video below. If you're looking for some spelling practice activities that can help your students become better spellers, take a look at the list I have below the video.


Spelling Match is a spelling game developed by Houghton Mifflin. As the name Spelling Match implies, students have to complete matching activities based on the sounds and or meanings of words. Spelling Match offers different levels of difficulty for students in grades 1 through 8. The games can be played as timed or untimed activities.

Building Language for Literacy offers three nice little language activities from Scholastic. The activities are designed for pre-K and Kindergarten students. Leo Loves to Spell asks students to help a lobster named Leo identify the first letter of a series of spelling words arranged in a dozen categories. Reggie Loves to Rhyme features a rhinoceros that needs help identifying the words that rhyme with objects found in places like the home, the garden, and the supermarket. Nina the Naming Newt needs help identifying the objects that belong in places like the home, the store, and the firehouse.

Dictionary.com has six word games for your edutaining pleasure. For spelling activities take a look at Miss Spell's Class. In Miss Spell's Class students are presented with twenty commonly misspelled words and quickly decide if the spelling they're looking at is correct or incorrect. Miss Spell's Class is available as a free Android App too.


Vocabulary Spelling City offers a database of more than 42,000 spelling words and sentences. The words and sentences can be customized for your students. This means that Vocabulary Spelling City supports US and UK spellings of words like "favorite" and "favourite," "color" and "colour." Teachers can use Vocabulary Spelling City to create custom lists of words for their students to practice spelling and to study the definitions of those words. To help students learn the proper pronunciation of the words on their practice lists Vocabulary Spelling City provides clear, spoken recordings of every word. Students can play games, study words, and quiz themselves on the spellings of the words on their lists. Vocabulary Spelling City allows teachers to print activities for use in their classrooms when their students don't have access to computers.
Disclosure: Vocabulary Spelling City is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.




Creating vocabulary quizzes is one of the necessary, yet tedious tasks that most teachers have to do. Fortunately, Scholastic has created a free program that will make creating vocabulary quizzes quicker and easier. The Scholastic Word Wizard Vocab Quiz Maker does everything for you except select the words for your quiz. To use the word wizard simply enter into the quiz maker a list of up to twenty-five words. The quiz maker will then, if necessary, ask you to specify the form of the word(s) you've entered. After that the quiz maker generates a vocabulary quiz for you complete with a word bank on one side of the page and questions on the other side.

Read Write Think has an online activity for young (K-2) students based on four childrens' books. Read Write Think's Word Wizard asks students to select one of four books that they have read or have had read to them. After selecting a book the Word Wizard creates a simple online spelling exercise based on the words in the book chosen by the child.

Spell Bee was developed at Brandeis University with funding from the National Science Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Spell Bee allows students to play spelling games in a head-to-head format. Spell Bee allows teachers to create accounts for students so that teachers can track student progress.

Spelling Bee The Game is an online spelling bee in which students select an avatar (game persona), hear words read to them, and have to type the correct spelling in the fields provided. If a student spells a word correctly, they move on to the next level. If a student does not spell a word correctly, they are given an easier word to try. If students need help spelling a word, they can hear the definition read as well as hear the word used in a sentence.

Catch the Spelling offers more than two dozen categories of spelling games. Each game has the same format; as words fall from the top of the screen, players have to "catch" the appropriate letters in the correct sequence to spell the word displayed at the top of the game. Players "catch" letters by moving a cursor at the bottom of the page. In some ways it reminded me of a cross between Tetris and Frogger.

Kids Spell provides free games that help students learn to spell more than 6,000 words. Kids Spell is a part of the Kids Know It Network. The Kids Know It Network provides educational games for all content areas taught in grades K-6.

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