Children who are not naturally good spellers require multiple opportunities to practise the words they are learning to spell. Games can be a great way of providing this practice.
Have the child’s list of spelling words in front of you both. Take it in turns to choose a word from the list and give clues regarding the spelling of the word. These clues can be based on the graphemes used in the words, the syllables, vowels, or applicable rules.
Each person can have a maximum of 4 guesses.
One point is scored for each guess. At the end of the game, the winner is the person with the lowest score.
If the word chosen was township, the clues could be:
- It has two syllables.
- It contains the /ow/ sound.
- It is a compound word.
- It contains the /sh/ sound.
- There is only one of every letter.
The clues for buttercup could be:
- It has three vowels.
- It has the rule ‘double the letter to keep the vowel short’.
- It contains the /er/ sound.
- It has the rule ‘c’ is followed by ‘a’, ‘u’, ‘o’, ‘l’ or ‘r’.
- It has 9 letters.
Once the word has been correctly identified, the child can write it on a whiteboard saying the sounds.
Draw the hanging frame and underneath the frame, draw a box to represent each sound in the word. For example if the words was corduroy you would have 5 boxes (k-or-d-er-oy).
Rather than guessing the letters in the word, the child has to guess the sounds. Use words from your child’s spelling list to make the game more achievable.
Three Ring Word Game
Place three hoops on the ground (or cut out three circles or make three circles using string). Write some graphemes (i.e., letters or letter combinations representing different sounds) on individual cards and place in the circles. How many words can you and your child make using one grapheme from each circle? You can work together or as a competition. Get your child to write down each word after it has been formed using the cards. Make sure you say the sounds as your child is writing the word. After a set time, try to use the words to make a story.
Use the graphemes your child is currently learning or has previously learned.
Use the scrabble tiles, but not the scrabble board. Each player takes 7 tiles and tries to form their own crossword. Once a player has used all 7 tiles, that player calls, “Take Two” and all players take another two tiles (even if they haven’t used all their tiles). If all players cannot make any further words but still have tiles not used, as a group it is agreed that everyone ‘Takes Two’. When all tiles are used each player identifies their longest word and their most interesting word and then makes up a story using the words in their crossword.