The leader correctly writes the spellings on lolly sticks and puts them in a cup or other container. The same word can go on more than one stick. For every five words, add a stick with “Boom!” on it. If there are twenty words, then there would be four extra “Boom!” sticks. Each player picks a stick, without looking and hands it to someone to read. The one who picked the stick has to write the word. If their spelling is correct, they keep the stick. When someone picks the “Boom!” stick, then they have to return all of the sticks that they have collected to the jar! The game is over after a set amount of time or a player has reached an agreed number of sticks.
This is really good for learning the use of homophones (too, to, two, their, there, they're, here, hear, etc.). Spread the words on on the floor or table. Take turns to say a sentence with the word and the other players use the context to swat the correct spelling with their hand. Turn the card over. Everyone spells the word on paper and receives a point if correct. The fastest person who swatted the word receives two points for a correct spelling.
Call out one spelling word at a time. As the children spell each word, they reach their hands to the sky for tall letters (e.g. b, d, t), put their hands on their hips for letters that are smaller (e.g. a, c and e) and touch their toes for letters that dip under the line (e.g. g, j, q, y). For example, when you call out “dog”, then it would be - reach, hips and toes! You can decide how to score (fastest, one point for a correct pattern, etc.). This game is much better with music.
Noughts and Crosses
Children need to be in pairs or two teams. Draw out a noughts and crosses board. One team picks a word for the other team to spell. If the other team spells the word correctly, then they write it in one of the squares in their colour. If it is not spelt correctly, then a person from the opposite team can write it in a square correctly.
This is played like Hangman, but in reverse. Draw two snowmen on the board, each with the same parts (body, head, eyes, carrot nose and mouth). The first person has to say the word. The other person has to say it in a sentence and write it down. If correct, he or she erases one part of the other team’s snowman. If the word is written incorrectly, then it is the next team’s turn. Keep going until one snowman has melted completely!
Create a race track with about twenty five spaces. Game pieces need to be little toy cars, one for each player. A dice is needed. Player one writes the word that is read to them by another player. If correct, then they roll the dice and move the same number of spaces along the track with their car. The winner is the one to pass the finish line. (The dice levels the game, meaning that someone who gets spellings wrong can manage to catch up at the end).
Spelling Battleship (scroll down for a printable grid)
Each player inserts their words on their grid in spaces going across (one letter per box). Players take turns guessing coordinates. If they miss, they mark it as a cross, but if they hit a word for the first time, the other player tells them the letter and they write down the letter in the grid. After the first letter has been revealed, then the player must be told hit or miss. They can continue to guess, but cannot enter any more letters, without first correctly guessing what it is. They can keep guessing, until they miss. This means that prefixes and suffixes can be rehearsed easily; it’s a great game for words, such as ‘disappear’, where children keep forgetting that there cannot be double ‘s’, since the root word does not start with an ‘s’. The goal is to sink all of the opponent’s words!
Bam and Swipe!
Players take turns reaching into the container and pulling out a card. Without looking, the player hands it to another to read out loud and then say in a sentence, The person who picked the card keeps it, if they can spell it. Incorrectly spelt cards go back in the container. Continue taking turns, reading, spelling and collecting cards. If you pull out a “Bam!” card, then you must put your whole pile of cards back into the container. If you pull out a “Swipe” card, then it means that you can swipe a card from any player, as long as you spell it correctly (children will choose to read out their trickiest word, which is useful!). At the end of a specified length of time, whoever has the most cards is the winner!