Register Now

Spelling Word Review Games

Compiled By: Editor

A collection of games and activities to review spelling words.

Spelling Game
Posted by: MB5

I think this game is a great idea. Our school actually plays a version of this on field day. The class forms a circle around plastic discs that have the letters on them. Then each child takes a turn spelling a word by running to the letter, and stomping on it. (They're placed about 1 foot apart.) The rest of the class is not allowed to talk, but they can direct their classmate by gesturing.

What I was thinking for your game is that maybe you could play the game in small groups (6-8 kids). They can take turns, and if they get stuck, they can look to their team-mates for non-verbal help. This will promote teamwork (hopefully), and the other kids in the group will be paying attention to the spelling since they may need to assist their teammate. I think the shower curtain/keyboard idea is GREAT (kinda reminds me of Twister!) I don't know what your floor situation is there, but you could buy that no-skid stuff they sell to put under rugs, and glue strips of it on the back of the shower curtain using rubber cement. If they're permitted, kids could take their shoes off to play, which will add to the appeal of this game. Wow! I'm getting excited about this. I'm off to the dollar store to get my shower curtain!

P.S. Does anyone have other games that they use shower curtains for? I'm very intrigued by this idea...


Spelling game
Posted by: Sarah

My kids love to play this spelling game. I made about 3x3 squares with letter of the alphabet on them. I divided the kids into groups and gave each group a set. They deal the alphabet letters to each child in the group so that they all have the same amount. Then I call out a spelling word and the kids must use the letters to spell it. The first team that gets it, raises their hands and I say first place, then second place, and so on. The rule is, though, that no child may touch someone elses alphabet cards. Each child is in charge of their own cards and must pay attention. This keeps every child involved!

We also play a game called Judge. We play this sometimes right before the test. I choose one child to be the Judge and they go outside the classroom. Then I pick 2 kids to go up to the board. In their nicest, neatest handwriting, they have to write the spelling word on the board (I leave my list up in the room, so that they MAY use it if they need too--so its not embarrassing for those kids who just don't know the word). Then the Judge comes in and must pick the word that is spelled correctly and written the neatest--great for cursive practice. The class must be absolutly silent while the Judge is thinking. Now, that person is the Judge!

Spelling game
Posted by: Jen

I always use an interactive game. I divide the class into two teams. Stand them in 2 lines. On the carpet I had already made a tic-tac-toe board out of masking tape. I give each team X's or O's. Then I begin to ask, verbally their words. If correct, they get to choose a square to stand in. They then hold up their X or O card, so the other team members know where to choose their next move. This game involves them, gets them moving, and holds their attention, all while reinforcing spelling words. It also helps them interact with each other.

To adapt this game when I was in a multi-age class, I didvided up the class, so that each team had an "even" amount of older and younger students. Then I just gave them words from their own lists, since each grade had its own words. For some of the high end younger students, I often challenged them witrh words not on their list, or from weeks prior, just to change up the game.
I hope that this helps. Eamil me for any specifics. Jen

Spelling Game
Posted by: Kimberly

Hi! I used a game called "Spelling Detective" You write all of the spelling words on the board and you let the students study them for one minute. After one minute you tell them to put their heads down and you change a word, misspell it, or change the tense, whatever throws them off. You tell the students "Spelling detectives raise your heads and tell me what is wrong." You call on a student and they have to spell the word correctly to you. You change the word back and give the students as a whole a point. If they are wrong, YOU get the point. My group is very loud and can get out of control, so to cheer I tell them to do a silent thumbs up. If they get loud, I take one of their points. The students love this game because they are trying to beat the teacher and not each other. It is a lot of fun. GOOD LUCK!!!!

Spelling game ideas
Posted by: Keeli0307

I play a Spelling game each week. My favorite game (and one of the kids favorites) is called Spelling Mat. I have a huge spelling mat (it's a shower curtain with the alphabet). I have start and finish rectangles. Each letter of the alphabet has its own square. The kids sit around the mat and one by one they get up to spell a word. They stand on start, say the spelling word, say each letter as they step on it, then step on finish and say the word again. They love to help each other. If they misspell the word, they have to start over again. They love it because they are out of thier seats and jumping around in the classroom. It took me forever to make it, but it will last a long time. I've played it with fourth and first graders. My current second graders LOVE it!

Posted by: Wanda

We do many activities in my MR class of 2-3 graders. Monday they get their list of words and they have to make flashcards, write their words in their agendas, and in their spelling dictionary which is in the homework folder. This way I know that they have three sources to find their words in. Each morning they have to use two of the words in a sentence correctly. We also go over the words saying the word, spelling the word, clapping out the syllables, and spelling the word with our eyes closed. They also have to write the words two times on a homework sheet. On Tuesdays, we fill in outlined boxes with out words. They have learned the tall letters, short letters and the letters that fall down. They have to fit the word in the boxes. They may also have an unscrambling activity. Again we review the words. Wednesdays, they have a Try, Copy, Spell activity to do. First I call the words for them to write down on paper, then we check and copy the correct spelling of misspelled words, then the words are called again to see if they can spell the words. Thursdays, we complete an activity where they cut out letters to spell their words on another sheet of paper. Fridays before testing the students we play a game or two to practice. I have alphabet cards that I have put magnets on the back of. All the letters needed to spell the weeks words are on the board. Students like to be timed to see if they can spell all the words. We also play tic tac toe with two teams. Each time a word is spelled correctly that teams puts an X or O in their space. The same with all the letter up on the board, form two teams and they have to take turns seeing which team can get the most points. There are many games to make up. I keep centers up with magnetic letters and aluminum cookie sheets to practice their words, use alphabet stamps to stamp the words on paper, put the words on tape or let students that know the words give trial tests, mine love testing each other. They have even started rewarding each other with a sheet of paper or pencil if they spell all the words right.
This really helps the students work together and encourage each other to do their best.

Posted by: Brooke

I have thought of two ideas. The first one is rainbow spelling. We use manilla paper and place screens underneath and then the students use 5 crayons to make the words look like a rainbow. In other words they are writing each word 5 times and they don't even realize it. You really don't have to use the screens. The other idea is to have the students write each word on an index card. They will need to write each word on two index cards and when they are done they can play memory with a friend. They will only need to play with one of the friend's game. Each student will have his/her own memory game to take home to practice. I thought of two more ideas. You could write all of the letters of the spelling works on a piece of paper. ( about 2 inches per letter) and the students can cut the letters apart and then they can work with a buddy to find the letters to spell each word. For example, the buddy might call out the first spelling word, frog, and then the other partner would take his or her letters to spell the word frog and then they would write it on a piece of handwriting paper. The two partners would alternate calling out words until both partners had called out and spelled every spelling word. My last idea is to make a pot of gold out of construction paper and glue to on to a piece of paper and then make little yellow circles (gold) to glue onto the pot. On each circle the students will need to write a spelling word. I had my students write each word twice. I hope these ideas help.

In Class Spelling Help
Posted by: Stephanie

An in class activity to help with spelling is a game. Write all of the words on the board. Including some words from previous weeks is good to (if you think the kids can handle it). Let the kids study the words on the board for a couple of minutes, so they can realize what extra words are there and remind themselves of what the weeks words are. Then have the kids put their heads down and erase a word. Let them put their heads up and do one of the follwing options.
1. Have students raise their hands and pick a student to tell you the erased word and spell it to you (definitions could also be given if they are required to learn those as well). Let the person that was called on erase the next word and choose the next person.

2. Have students write the words on small chalk/white boards or on paper. Watch for the fastest student, choose him or her to erase the next word.

Any variation of this is good. Sometimes I give candy or stickers to everyone that writes the words correctly.

Another game....
There is an around the world game that is played with math, but I use it for spelling also. Pick a student to start. Everypne, but that student should be sitting. Have them stand next to the person in one corner of the room (whp can stand or sit, its up to you). Give a word to the 2 people. Have them write it down and raise his or her hand when he or she is done writing the word. Whoever gets the word correct moves to the next desk going up and down rows or around clusters (depending on the set-up of the room). The other person sits back down in the seat that the word was asked at. Giving words more than once is fine.

Hope these suggestions help!!


spelling game
Posted by: Donna

My kids love to play the game "SParkle". It's similar to the traditional spelling bee but goes quickly so students get to get back in the game.
All students stand up front and the teacher calls out a spelling word. The first student says only the first letter of the word, the second says the second letter of the word and so on until the word is spelled. After a student knows the word has been spelled correctly, she says "SParkle" and then the next player has to sit down. Then continue with a new word. If a student makes a letter mistake, they have to sit down. The last student remaining is the winner for that round and everybody stands up and we start again.

Posted by: Emma

Here is how I play SPARKLE in my room. The kids clear off the top of their desks and then they sit on top. Then I pick an order of who goes first, second, third, etc. Then, I choose a spelling word. The person going first says the first letter only. The second person says the second letter, etc. until the word is completed. After someone says the last letter, the person who is next to go must say SPARKLE. After they say SPARKLE, the person who is next is out and must sit down.

For example: The word is "dog." Player 1 says "d", Player 2 says "o", Player 3 says "g", Player 4 says "SPARKLE" and Player 5 sits down.

If a student says the wrong letter, they must sit down. If someone does not know when it is their turn, or if they don't remember the letter that was said before them, they must sit down. It is a good way to promote good speaking and listening skills, and it keeps the kids attentive!

I talk to my class about how it is just a game for review, and a lot of SPARKLE is all about luck in regards to if you get out or if you win. We talk about how you shouldn't feel badly if you get out. I know some teachers don't like to play games where kids might feel left out. But, I think if you discuss it with the kids, it helps them to understand.

Wow, I wrote a lot! I didn't mean too! Hope this helps a little!

Spelling Ideas
Posted by: Laurie

I am not sure what grade you are working with but here are a few activites for 3rd grade and up.

1) Sparkle - You give a spelling work and each student says one letter of the word until it is spelled. For example say the word is "hat." Person one says "h", person two says "a", person three days "t", person four says "hat", and person five says "sparkle". You then say the next word and the next group of children completes it. For older kids I put a twist on it so that they have to be quiet and listen. If a child gets the letter wrong they have to sit down. Then the next child has to say the correct letter right where they left off. Kids seem to love this game and can't get enough of it.

2) When I student taught I did spelling contracts with the kids each week in 4th grade. On Monday I would give them the spelling word and the contract that had to be turned in by Friday. The contract consisted of 4 activities and if the children wanted an "A" they had to do all 4, a "B" required 3 to be done, and so on. Some of the activities I did was to

a) have students write all their spelling words and write vowels in blue and consonants in red.

b) cut letters out of magazines to create their spelling words.

c) make a word search with their words.

d) use all the words in a story.

e) look up the definitions of each word.

f) secret code words ex. 1=a 2=b etc.

g) for each code word find how much each was worth by adding them up.

SPARKLE for Spelling
Posted by: Mary

This is a game I play with my students right before our spelling test. I gather the students around the perimeter of the carpet (or they can stand at their seats) and I pick one person to start. The first round, I give the words. Here is how it works. I say a spelling word, and the 1st person says the first letter, 2nd person says the second letter, 3rd person says the 3rd letter and so forth. If a student says the wrong letter, they are out and have to sit down. Here is the exciting part . . . once the last letter is given, the next person says "SPARKLE" and the person next to them gets out. Eventually the game ends in a face off with two students. I give little prizes for the winner. We usually play two rounds. For the second round, I have the winner of the first round be the "teacher" and they give the spelling words while I play. The students love to SPARKLE me!. It is a good game and doesn't solely rely on knowing how the spell to win. For ESL and Special Ed students I stretch the word out so that they hear the letter sound to say. And, I allow them to point to the letter on the alphabet chart. All other students are very accomodating and even begin to use the same strategies with eachother to help out. Try it . . . it's fun!

spelling games
Posted by: samdyH

One game I play is Spelling Survivor. Everyone stands and I announce the word. The first speller says the first letter, second person the 2nd letter and so on. The person who says the last letter picks a popsicle stick out of the class can. That person is "voted off the island" and is out. Anyone who says an incorrect letter is out, too. they cannot pull their own stick. When you are down to 2 players, it works the same way, except this time, when they pull the stick it could be their own and they are voted off. The last player is the winner.
Another game I play is "quickspell" where students are in teams of maybe 4-5. Each team has a baggie of small cards with letters on them. I announce 2 or 3 spelling words and say go. When the team has both words spelled usuing their letters, they raise their hands. The first team done with all words correct gets 2 pts. all other team swith words correct get 1 pt. The team with the most points wins.
I've also played spelling battleship. Students each get 2 grids (5x5 or 6x6 are good) They program one of their grids by hiding words in the blocks. (a whole word goes in a box) They sit back to back with a partner and try to guess locations of words like in battleship, for instance B-3. The partner tells them if it's a hit or miss. If it's a miss, it's the other player's turn; if it's a hit, the player pronounces the word and the other player has to try to spell it correctly. They use their blank grid for recording their own guesses.

Spelling games
Posted by: SWL

Here is a game that we use to review and practice spelling words. My third grade class absolutely loves it!! Choose one child to be the spelling "Bee". As he buzzes around the room, all of the children chant this verse. "Spelling bee, Spelling bee, buzzing on your spelling spree; Ha Ha,Hee Hee; You can't sting ME!!!The current "Bee" stops and stands behind another student. The teacher recites one of the current spelling words. If the student correctly spells it , that child becomes the new spelling "Bee" and the old "Bee" sits down at the new "Bee's" desk.If not successful the whole class spells it in unison and the first child continues. To keep the whole class actively involved when one child is spelling a word, they can listen carefully and "thumbs up" if it's spelled correctly, and "thumbs Down" if it's not. Anyway, it's really a very simple, fun game.

spelling game - Barracuda
Posted by: Sarah

My class (5th grade) likes this game. I did not invent it. It's like Hangman but more interactive.

On the board I draw a ladder with 5 rungs above the barracuda (or shark) in the water. On the top of the ladder, I draw a stick figure who is a member of the class. I choose a word either from a past spelling list (usually a challenge word) or a seasonal word and write out its spaces. The students guess letters- every time it's wrong, the stickperson moves one rung closer to the shark. They get 1 vowel guess. If someone thinks they can solve, they must first be approved by the "shark bait" person. They must correctly fill in the missing letters to save the person. If the classes solve several words in a row (so no one gets eaten), the shark gets hungrier and hungrier, so I put 3 or 4 students on the ladder. We play it maybe once every month or so.

Spelling Survivor
Posted by: Chicago Teacher

I had the same problem last year, so I developed "spelling survivor". I had the kids line up and each would spell one letter in the given word. Whoever completed the spelling word drew a popsicle stick with a student name on it from a cup that I held. That student was "voted off the island". Then we would continue. Kids were also "voted off" if they said the incorrect letter on their turn (either because of misspelling or not paying attention). Last student left would be named "spelling survivor". I like this game for 2 reasons - 1= there is chance involved, so the smartest kids in the class don't always win; 2= even though it sounds like a sort of dumb game, the kids got really into it. the boys would cheer if a girl's name was chosen, and the opposite. it was sort of fun to watch. *Also, I varied whether or not they would be out if they drew their own name or if they would choose again. Sometimes they would be out (and their reaction to "voting themself out" could be hilarious), sometimes we would only go to that when there were 2 students left.

Spelling Activities
Posted by: Jessie

Here are a few I use in my classroom:

1. Practice the words in Shaving Cream. I get a can of cheap shaving cream, squirt some on their desks, and they practice writing their words that way. Does make a mess, sort of, but I only have seven kids, so it works for us. If that wouldn't work, get a tray, fill it with sand, and set it at a center, and the kids can use their fingers to write their words in the sand.

2. We play "Heads UP, Spell UP", a version of the game, Heads UP, 7-Up. Since my class is so small, it does get a little hard, but what we do is this: Two students go up to the front of the room, and tell the rest to put their heads down and to stick their thumbs up. The two walk around pushing down 1 thumb each and them come stand in front of the room and say, "HEADS UP, SPELL UP". The two who had their thumbs put down stand up. I give them a word to spell. If they get it correct, they guess to touched their thumb. If they guess correctly, they take that person's place at the chalk board. If they get it wrong, we all spell the word together, and then we start over.

3. We alphabetize them each week.

4. We also do the Spell Down thing that was mentioned above...


4. The last thing we do is to have each student search for these words in their lives. They write down any spelling words they encounter with their reading, everyday life, ect. and we share them before the test.

Spelling game
Posted by: Jane

I play a game with my students which I call, Race to Spell.

You need 2 teams (let students come up with their team name). A student from each team is called to the board. They stand facing the board with marker/chalk in hand, with hands down beside them. They must listen to the word and wait for me to say, ready, set, go. On GO, they write the word correctly and neatly on the board. The first one to finish turns around with their back to the board. If they have spelled correctly and YOU can read the word, they earn a point for their team. In case of a tie (where both spell correctly and turn at the same time), award both teams a point and give these same students another word. At the end of the game, if both teams have the same number of points, do a tie breaker word. Let the teams choose who from their team will represent them.

spelling review
Posted by: Ri

My third graders LOVED using individual dry erase boards. I would give them a word and they each would write it. I would call on someone who I saw had spelled it correctly to spell it aloud. Those who got it correct would cheer for themselves and give themselves a tally mark point on the bottom of the board. Those who got it incorrect would just quietly correct it and didn't have to feel embarrassed b/c nobody really knew. Then, we would all chant the spelling word together in some silly way - such as using high squeaky voices, etc. They thought it was great. It was fun for them and the students who didn't know the words quickly realized that they needed to study because, at the end of the game, they hadn't given themselves many tally marks!

Another one is a spelling relay. Students are in teams. When a word is given, the first student writes the first letter, the second student writes the second letter, etc. If someone makes a mistake, the next person in line has the opportunity to correct it. The first team to spell the word correctly gets a point. If you have some very poor spellers, watch out with this one, though! It's no fun when none of the other kids want you to be on their spelling relay team!

Spelling Games
Posted by: JM

Here are a couple of games we play.
Draw the tic-tac-toe lines on the board.
Pick a boy or girl(we play boys vs. girls).
Have the child write the word in a box.
If they spell it wrong, get out of the box, or make their letters wrong, they have to erase it and pick the opposite sex to come up.
If they get it right, they pick the same sex to come up.
The first person to make a line wins the game.
There are no x's or o's. Just words filled in.
You can make a winning line from the other teams words.

Hot Seat:
Put 3 chairs in front of the chalkboard.
Pick 3 students to sit in them.
Write a word behind them on the board.
Don't let the 3 "hot seats" see the word.
The other students in the class give clues to the kids in the hot seats.
When a hot seat thinks he or she knows the word, he or she rings a bell(I set it in front of the hot seats on a table.)
Whoever rings the bell has to say the word and spell it correctly.
If correct, the other 2 hot seats pick someone new to come up.
If incorrect, all 3 hot seats pick someone new to come up.

Hope this helps!