If you’re looking for some of the best spelling games for the classroom, you’re in the right place! I have more than 20 spelling activities and games for all ages. Keep on reading for the top picks, along with online practice for spelling and worksheet recommendations.
Spelling Games for the Classroom
Let’s get into the best classroom spelling games for all ages.
#1: Odd One Out Spelling Game
Odd One Out is a simple way to review spelling. Write down 4 words, three are spelled correctly and one is incorrect. For example:
- zebra, girafe, elephant, tiger
Students have to choose the word that is spelled incorrectly and say why (giraffe has 2 f’s).
#2: Word Jumble Spelling Game Classroom
A fun way to teach spelling is to use a word jumble. Have a number of words, according to a certain theme and scramble up the letters. For example, colours:
- y o e l w l
- b u l e
- e g r n e
Did you figure them out? Yellow, blue, and green. Students have to unscramble the letters to make the word. To level up, make this into a friendly competition!
#3: Spelling Bee
Remember spelling bees? They are a bit old school but also a ton of fun! This can be done at the class level or with the entire school (divided into a couple of different levels usually). Give students a list of possible words ahead of time if you’d like, or use words that you’ve already covered in class.
Then, it becomes a matter of the last person standing! To avoid playing favourites, I usually draw words randomly out of a hat so it doesn’t look like I’m picking the easier words for the weaker students and the more difficult ones for the better students. Although you could certainly do this if you’d like!
#4: Ideas for Fun Spelling Games
Have a look at these ESL spelling games:
#5: Teach the Spelling Rules
There are some main spelling rules that can be very beneficial for students to learn. The most common one is “i” before “e,” except after “c.” Teach these rules to students and they’ll be well served!
Another option is to look on YouTube. There are lots of people who explain these rules as well and you can show these quick videos to your students.
#6: Steal the Eraser, Spelling Version
In this game, students compete against each other to grab an eraser and then answer a question of some kind. Usually, students have to just say the word that the teacher is giving hints for. In this case, they would have to spell it instead. Learn more here:
#7: Crossword Puzzles
I like to use Discovery’s Puzzlemaker to make crossword puzzles. I give hints about words and students have to get the correct spelling in order for it to work in the puzzle. For example, animals:
- This animal swims in the sea and is very big (whale).
- It has black and white stripes (zebra).
#8: Vocabulary Guessing Game
In this activity, students have to give hints about a secret word to their captain. In this case, the captain should spell out the word instead of just saying it in order to get the point. Learn more about it:
#9: Is that Sentence Correct?
It’s possible to use this activity with errors to spelling, grammar or vocabulary choices.
#10: Spelling Word Chain
This is a nice spelling game for all ages. Use whatever words you want to review. All students stand up. The teacher chooses the first player and says a word. The first student has to say the first letter, and then the next student says the next one. If someone misses, they sit down and are out. Continue on with more words.
#11: Extensive Reading
I love to encourage my students to read a lot! It’s good for a variety of things–seeing how grammar is used in the real world, and vocabulary acquisition. It can also help students become familiar with spelling. Find out more here:
#12: Flyswatter Classroom Spelling Game
I often use this for teaching new vocabulary but it can be used for spelling as well. It’s a nice beginner activity. Write the alphabet in a random fashion on the board. Then, say a word and students have to slap the first or last letter, or the vowel in the word. Specify which before you say the word.
#13: Songs and Chants
Have a look on YouTube and you’ll find a ton of songs and chants to teach spelling for all ages and levels. It’s an easy way to focus on spelling and sometimes I even hear my students singing them after class. When this happens, I think that my job is done!
#14: Use the Test-Teach-Test Approach
It’s often the case in a language class that students have seen the material before in previous classes we explicitly teach it. If you suspect this to be the case, why not give a little “test” at the start of the class so you can find out what the students already know and tailor the lesson to what they don’t? Learn more about it here:
#15: Consider the Learning Styles when Teaching Spelling
Something to consider when teaching spelling is the various learning styles. Here are some ideas for this:
- Auditory (say the spelling of the word, letter by letter)
- Reading/Writing (students can read first and then write the words)
- Kinesthetic (students can arrange Scrabble letters to make words).
- Visual (students can see the words written down)
#16: Word of the Day
A nice way to focus on vocabulary and spelling is to use a word of the day. Students can write down the word in their notebooks, along with some example sentences. Show students that word used in the “real world,” in a reading or TV show. Post it up on the whiteboard or wall. Get students to make their own sentences with it. There are lots of things you can do with this!
#17: Error Correction Relay Race
Turn something old (error correction) into something new by making it into a race!
#18: Word Challenge Whiteboard Race
Divide the class into teams and one student from each team comes up to the whiteboard. Say a word (or give hints about it) and the first person to spell it correctly gets a point for their team.
#19: Boggle Spelling Game
- Includes 6X6 play grid
- Includes double letter cube
- Includes 4 minute sand timer and instructions
- Number of players: 2+
This is a nice game for higher-level learners. If you have a small class, consider picking up an actual Boggle game. For larger classes, put the grid on a PowerPoint slide or whiteboard. Then, have some fun playing the game!
This is a bit of an old-school activity, but it does certainly have some value for teaching spelling. Say a word (or the word in a sentence) and students have to write it down in their notebooks. I like this activity because you can see, in black and white who actually knows how to spell the words and who doesn’t.
#21: Spelling Tests
To give spelling tests, or not to give spelling tests? That is the big question. They do certainly produce some great results but sometimes don’t last for the long term.
That said, I do sometimes give spelling tests to my students. And then the key is to keep using those words throughout the rest of the course to keep them in the working memory.
#22: Teach Rules for Homophones and Confusing Words
Some words are commonly misused, even by native English speakers. For example, it’s/its, their/they’re/there, too/to/two, affect/effect. Teach these words to students!
Don’t reinvent the wheel! There are so many good spelling worksheets online. Here are some of the top options:
Online Practice for Spelling
If your students want to get some practice with spelling outside of the classroom, here are a few websites for them to check out:
More Ideas for Teaching English
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Smith, Jennifer Booker (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 134 Pages - 03/31/2016 (Publication Date)
If you need more ideas for the classroom, then be sure to check out this book: 101 ESL Activities for Kids. There are dozens of ideas to help you make it through a course in style. The key to better TEFL classes for kids is using a wide variety of interesting and engaging, student-centred games and activities.
Pick up a copy of the book today and get ready for better English lessons tomorrow:
Classroom Spelling Games FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about class spelling games. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What are some fun ways to teach spelling?
Some fun ways to teach spelling include:
- Rhymes, raps and songs.
- Crossword puzzles.
- Word jumbles.
- A word of the day.
- Word Bingo.
- Chain spelling game.
What is a fun spelling game?
A fun spelling game is a chain spelling game. Have students stand up and say a word. Students take turns saying a letter, turn by turn and if someone gets it incorrect, they must sit down and are out of the game.
How do you help a student struggling with spelling?
To help a student with spelling, reinforce the basic rules (i before e, except after c), play some games, have spelling tests, master sight words, and break down words by word families.
Should students memorize the spelling of words?
Students should memorize the spelling of common sight words. This will assist them in reading and writing if those words are automatic.
Spelling Games for the Classroom: Join the Conversation
Do you have any fun spelling classroom games? Please leave a comment and let us know. We’d love to hear from you!
Last update on 2022-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API