When it comes to teaching in the UK, it’s often handy to draw on your own childhood experiences, and if you think back to the lessons that have lasted the longest, it’s the ones that were a little out of the ordinary that stand out.
This is not something that’s changed over the years. The easiest and most effective way to engage children is to make teaching fun, and spelling is no exception. Rather than making it about learning by rote, there are some really simple ways to turn it into a fun classroom game.
Here are four ideas to inspire you…
1. Spell with gel
Kids love tactile learning, and luckily it’s easy and economical to deliver when you use our spell with gel idea. All that you need to do is get your hands on a few simple supplies: sealable bags, cheap hair gel (the more brightly coloured the better), and some cotton wool buds. Simply fill the bags with the gel, hand over the buds, and have the children you’re teaching trace their spellings in the goo. If they get them wrong the first time, they can simply wipe it clear and try again.
2. Spelling stones
Another easy yet effective idea to try is spelling stones. All that you’ll need to start is some smooth pebbles and a permanent marker pen. Letter each stone individually, place them in the middle of the circle, and have the children in your classroom roll a dice one at a time. The number rolled is the number of letters that the word they spell out will need to be. The better the word, the more points you award. Their competitive streaks will soon spur them on to be the very best they can be.
3. Word searches
We know it sounds simple, but don’t forget to use some word searches too. There are thousands of these to download for free from the internet, and choosing one that’s topical can be especially useful. The beauty of it is that the children you’re teaching will think that it’s no more than a fun game, even as their brains are soaking up spellings like sponges.
4. Connect Four (with a twist)
Every child in existence enjoys playing Connect Four, but now it’s time to put a twist on it. Using self-adhesive labels, add letters to the counters, with the new aim of the game being to drop them down until a word is formed and you have a winner. You'll soon see smiles on their faces and some great spelling emerging.
Make learning fun with these four handy hacks and your pupils will soon be excelling at spelling.