A lot of people struggle with spelling for many reasons.
As a person who struggles with spelling, it can be frustrating. As a poor speller it can be even more frustrating….
Below are 3 games which I often play at Clara James Tutoring to help children/ adults become more confident with:
Words they regularly spell wrongly
Their weekly spellings
High frequency words
I’ve played these games with children who are as young as 5 or 6 right up to 16-year olds sitting their GCSE’s. I’ve also played them with adults. Providing you are willing to accept that learning can be fun, these games will work.
The 3 games I’ve chosen here are easy to make and fun to play.
The first game I will share with you to support spellings is:
I love this game. It can take about half an hour to play but if your child is learning fairly short words you could make the grid smaller and the game will finish quicker.
I think every person I have ever played the game with has also found it to be a firm favourite!
To play the game you will need to draw (print) out 2 grids on 2 pieces of paper.
The grids need to be 10 squares by 10 squares.
Miss the first square on the left of the bottom row. On the following squares write the numbers from 1 to 9.
Then in the left-hand column miss the bottom left square. In the squares above it write the letters from A to I.
Each spelling is then written into the grid. One letter per square and the words must go in a straight line.
Once all the words are written in, use co-ordinates to try and find the other person’s words. The first person to find them all wins.
Make a word search
This game is great. It not only helps with spellings but can also help with hand writing.
When I first started attending courses on dyslexia it was suggested not to do word searches with dyslexic children. However, it has been over 8 years since I started Clara James Tutoring. In that time I have used them a lot.
As long as you keep them appropriate to the age and the ability of the child they will be enjoyed.
In fact, very often the dyslexic children I work with are far better at word searches than non-dyslexics! Coincidence? I don’t know….
There are 2 ways to play this game.
You create a word search containing the spellings you are working on and the child endeavours to find them.
If you make the grid approximately 10 squares by 10.
List the hidden words underneath
Write in lower case as these are the symbols your child will be more familiar with when reading.
The second method (and my preferred method) is to print out 2 grids which are 10 squares by 10 squares.
On a separate sheet have the words that you are focusing on correctly spelt and available for the child to copy from.
Choose between 6 and 10 of these spellings and put them into the word search.
One letter per square.
The words can go: forwards, backwards, up, down or diagonally but they must go in a straight line.
As before list the hidden words underneath and fill in all the remaining squares with random letters.
The benefit of this method is that the child must present each letter so that it is possible for the other person to recognise what it says.
They get to focus on each letter and its position in the word as they create the word search and then again as they try to solve it.
For children who do struggle more, you may choose to use a smaller grid and larger squares.
This final game will involve a small investment.
I use bananagrams but scrabble letters are pretty much the same thing.
Again, you will need the list of spellings that you are focusing on to hand.
Both players choose a word from the list.
Don’t tell the other person what that word is!
Find the letters you will need to create that word and give them a shake to muddle them up.
Pass the letters to the other player.
The goal now is to try and work out the spelling that those letters form. You can either keep the list face up to make the task easier; or cover it to make the game more of a challenge.
This game was suggested to me by a boy I used to work with. It’s been played many times since and everyone seems to enjoy it.
Enjoy the games and I hope you see a difference in your child’s confidence and ability to spell.
As with everything a certain amount of repetition is required. When the repetition comes in the form of a game, most people are generally fairly obliging to participate.
If you are looking for a tutor to support your child with their spellings drop me an email at:
Enjoy the summer holidays and have fun spending time with your children practicing their spellings!
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