Showing posts with label Spelling Activities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spelling Activities. Show all posts

Sunday, June 2, 2013

5 Free Services for Helping Students Learn to Spell

Yesterday, I shared a TED-Ed lesson called Making Sense of Spelling. As a follow-up to that post here are some resources that your students can use to develop and practice their spelling skills.

Sproutster is a free iPad game that has a concept similar to the one behind Free Rice. The difference between the two games is that Sproutster wants you to spell words and Free Rice wants you to guess the definition of words. Sproutster asks you to spell three to five letter words by catching letters in a bucket as the letters rain down on you. You don't need to catch all of the letters. You just need to catch letters in sequence to spell any word that you like (proper nouns don't count). When you have spelled a word dump it out to make a plant grow. When the plant has reached its full size you move on to the next level. For each plant that is grown Sproutster donates 30-50 grains of rice to the UN WFP.

Dictionary.com offers six registration-free and fun word games. The two games that I like best are Miss Spell's Class and Word Kingdom. 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. Word Kingdom could be described as Zelda meets word search. In Word Kingdom players have to construct words in order to earn objects like wood and gold. Once enough objects are earned players can move on to the next level until they have built their Word Kingdoms.

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.

Spell + Friends is a free iPad app that provides students with word lists to practice in a virtual spelling bee manner. There are three modes in Spell + Friends. Learn mode is for creating word lists to study. Practice mode reads words to students that they then have to spell correctly in the app. Compete mode allows students to compete head-to-head against other users of the app. In the Learn mode students select new words to learn. There are more than 2,000 words in the word bank. The words are divided into three categories based on how frequently they are used.

Building Language for Literacy offers three nice little language activities from Scholastic. The activities are designed for pre-K and Kindergarten students. The spelling activity is called  Leo Loves to Spell. 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.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sproutster - Spell Words and Support the UN World Food Program

Sproutster is a free iPad game that has a concept similar to the one behind Free Rice. The difference between the two games is that Sproutster wants you to spell words and Free Rice wants you to guess the definition of words.

Sproutster asks you to spell three to five letter words by catching letters in a bucket as the letters rain down on you. You don't need to catch all of the letters. You just need to catch letters in sequence to spell any word that you like (proper nouns don't count). When you have spelled a word dump it out to make a plant grow. When the plant has reached its full size you move on to the next level. For each plant that is grown Sproutster donates 30-50 grains of rice to the UN WFP.

Applications for Education
Sproutster could be a fun way for students to practice spelling simple words. If your students have a vocabulary list that they are studying in your classroom, have them try spelling the words on that list. My one complaint about Sproutster is that even on the first level the letters fall very quickly. I would like to see a level on which the letters move just a little bit slower.

Thanks to Jen Deyenberg for sharing this fun app. 

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.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Vocabulary Spelling City

This week Free Technology for Teachers welcomed Vocabulary Spelling City as a new advertiser.


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.





In addition to their free products, Vocabulary Spelling City offers a premium service that gives teachers the option to track their students' progress, removal of advertising, and additional learning activities. You can try the premium version for free for three months by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Six Free Word Games from Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com is the default online dictionary for millions of people. But did you know that Dictionary.com also has word games for your edutaining pleasure? This morning through Jeffrey Hill's English Blog I learned about one of six free word games offered by Dictionary.com. Miss Spell's Class is the game that Jeffrey Hill featured on his blog. 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.

















The featured free word game on Dictionary.com is Word Kingdom. Word Kingdom could be described as Zelda meets word search. In Word Kingdom players have to construct words in order to earn objects like wood and gold. Once enough objects are earned players can move on to the next level until they have built their Word Kingdoms.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for some word games that your students can play independently, Dictionary.com's games are a good starting place. Linking these games to your classroom blog would make it easy for students and their parents to locate the games quickly and give them another good reason to check in on your blog.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Ten Spelling Games and Lessons
Ten Grammar Games and Lesson Resources

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scholastic Word Wizard - Vocab Quiz Creator

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.

Applications for Education
The Scholastic Vocab Quiz Maker can be used to generate vocabulary quizzes for any grade level.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:

Create a Homepage With Scholastic Homepage Builder
Construct a Word - Build Vocabulary and Spelling Skills
Ten Spelling Games and Lessons

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ten Spelling Games and Lessons

1. Spelling Wizard from Scholastic.com lets students, parents, and teachers create their own word search and word scramble games to play online. Each game can have up to ten words. To use Spelling Wizard simply enter ten words into the list field then select word search or word scramble. Spelling Wizard is probably best suited for students in Kindergarten through second grade. Scholastic also offers a free tool for creating online spelling flashcards.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. MSNBC has an interactive spelling bee based on the words from the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. There are three games to play and the words get progressively more difficult the longer you play. The words are read to students who then type the word into the spelling box. Just like in a real spelling bee, students can get the definition and or hear it used in a sentence. The difficulty of the words in the game make it best suited for middle school and high school students.

5. Spelling Bee The Game is an online spelling bee similar in style to the MSNBC game mentioned above. After selecting an avatar (game persona), students 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.

6. Kids Spell provides eight 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.

7. Spin and Spell has been featured on a number of blogs over the last year. Spin and Spell asks students to select a picture and then spell the name of the item. Alternatively, students can have word select for them and then identify the correct corresponding image.

8. GamesGames.com offers sixteen free spelling games. Most of the games seem to be designed with grades 3, 4, and 5 in mind.

9. Spelling City is a resource that Jim Moulton shared in his Best of Web 2008 presentation at the ACTEM conference in October. Spelling City not only offers games, it also offers the capability for students to type a word and hear it pronounced.

10. 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.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Construct a Word - Build Vocabulary and Spelling Skills

Construct a Word is a good online activity for elementary school students to use to develop their vocabulary and their spelling skills. Construct a Word, produced by Read Write Think, asks students to select the ending (not necessarily a suffix) for a word. After selecting an ending, students have to select from a bank of letters and letter combinations to form a word. Construct a Word tells students how many words can be formed from the letters available to them. When a student has created all of the words possible from the available letters, he or she moves on to a new new bank of endings and letters.

Here are some screenshots of Construct a Word.


































Applications for Education
Construct a Word is a nice interactive activity for elementary school students. Construct a Word is design to be used as an individual activity, but it could also be used as a group activity on an interactive whiteboard.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Ten Spelling Games and Lessons... And a Laugh
Five Great Grammar Resources

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ten Spelling Games and Lessons... and a Laugh

Last night Kavya Shivashankar was crowned champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee 2009. If you're students would like to get started on preparing for next year's competition they can test their skills on this sample test from Scripps. Below the video are other resources your students can use to develop their spelling skills.

1. Spelling Wizard from Scholastic.com lets students, parents, and teachers create their own word search and word scramble games to play online. Each game can have up to ten words. To use Spelling Wizard simply enter ten words into the list field then select word search or word scramble. Spelling Wizard is probably best suited for students in Kindergarten through second grade. Scholastic also offers a free tool for creating online spelling flashcards.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. MSNBC has an interactive spelling bee based on the words from the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. There are three games to play and the words get progressively more difficult the longer you play. The words are read to students who then type the word into the spelling box. Just like in a real spelling bee, students can get the definition and or hear it used in a sentence. The difficulty of the words in the game make it best suited for middle school and high school students.

5. Spelling Bee The Game is an online spelling bee similar in style to the MSNBC game mentioned above. After selecting an avatar (game persona), students 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.

6. Kids Spell provides eight 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.

7. Spin and Spell has been featured on a number of blogs over the last year. Spin and Spell asks students to select a picture and then spell the name of the item. Alternatively, students can have word select for them and then identify the correct corresponding image.

8. GamesGames.com offers sixteen free spelling games. Most of the games seem to be designed with grades 3, 4, and 5 in mind.

9. Spelling City is a resource that Jim Moulton shared in his Best of Web 2008 presentation at the ACTEM conference in October. Spelling City not only offers games, it also offers the capability for students to type a word and hear it pronounced.

10. 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.

This moment from last year's Scripps National Spelling Bee comes to us in the style of "Kids Say the Darndest Things." If you've had a long week of teaching, this might give you a nice laugh.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Podictionary - A Podcast for Word Lovers

Podictionary is a daily podcast about words produced by Charles Hodgson. Five days a week Mr. Hodgson shares a different word, its meaning, and a short history of or story about the word. For example, the podcast for May 5 was about the word colonel. In the podcast Mr. Hodgson explains why colonel is pronounced "coronel." Mr. Hodgson also explains the origins of the word in the podcast.

Applications for Education
Podictionary is good for personal and professional learning. You could use the Podictionary podcasts to provide your students with a short daily lesson. Grammar Girl is a good podcast to use in conjuction with Podictionary.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
SpellTube - Customized Spelling Video Lists
Five Resources for Fun Spelling Games
Five Great Grammar Resources

Monday, January 5, 2009

Five Fun Spelling Games

In late November I wrote a blog post outlining five resources for free spelling games. That blog post was among the top twenty most read posts of 2008 therefore I am sharing some more online spelling games for elementary school, middle school, and high school students.

1. Spelling Wizard from Scholastic.com lets students, parents, and teachers create their own word search and word scramble games to play online. Each game can have up to ten words. To use Spelling Wizard simply enter ten words into the list field then select word search or word scramble. Spelling Wizard is probably best suited for students in Kindergarten through second grade. Scholastic also offers a free tool for creating online spelling flashcards.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. MSNBC has an interactive spelling bee based on the words from the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. There are three games to play and the words get progressively more difficult the longer you play. The words are read to students who then type the word into the spelling box. Just like in a real spelling bee, students can get the definition and or hear it used in a sentence. The difficulty of the words in the game make it best suited for middle school and high school students.

5. Spelling Bee The Game is an online spelling bee similar in style to the MSNBC game mentioned above. After selecting an avatar (game persona), students 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.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

SpellTube - Customized Spelling Video Lists

As of September 1, 2010 SpellTube is offline as it searches for funding.

SpellTube is an interesting resource for teaching and learning to spell. Tom Barrett included Spell Tube in his recent post about video resources for spelling, maths, and science. SpellTube provides spelling lessons in the form of videos that feature child actors explaining spelling concepts and rules. For example, one lesson starts with the reminder from Egon to "drop the 'e' before adding vowel suffixes."

SpellTube allows teachers to create their own customized list of words for their students to learn. Students get their own unique login credentials that are matched to their teacher's word lists.

Applications for Education
SpellTube could be a good resource for students to use to learn independently. SpellTube allows students to progress at their own pace which helps teachers to differentiate their instruction within the classroom. One word of caution for US teachers, SpellTube is a UK based website so when selecting words for your spelling lists be sure to select words that are spelled the same in both countries. For example, words that contain the use of "z" like "customized" in the US, may be spelled with "s" by SpellTube.

If anyone is aware of version of SpellTube, please leave a comment for all of us.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Free Spelling Software Offer for Educators

Spell Quizzer is a program for Windows users looking for a spelling tutorial for their students. Spell Quizzer is a pretty straight-forward program that offers a couple of nice features. To use Spell Quizzer users create a custom spelling list by speaking into a microphone. Then Spell Quizzer plays each word back. When Spell Quizzer plays back each word, users type in the word. If a mistake is made while spelling a word, Spell Quizzer shows the errors. Click here to see some video demonstrations of Spell Quizzer in action.

Spell Quizzer normally charges $29.95 to download the software. However, I was contacted by the creator of Spell Quizzer who is willing to give away a free license to educators who contact him here. To get your free license you need to have an email with a .edu extension or other academic email (for example my school district is .k12.me.us) that can be verified. Please mention Free Technology for Teachers when applying for your free license of Spell Quizzer.

I do not have any affiliation with Spell Quizzer, I am just passing along an opportunity to get a piece of software for free. As you know, I typically do not link to anything that is not free.

Update: I was mistaken in saying that users had to download the software, this is not a download. Also I should have stated that generally after the first 30 days, users have to pay to use the service.