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Spelling Games for 3rd Grade

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Spelling is a necessary skill for third graders to practice. It leads to better self-expression, reading and writing throughout elementary school and beyond. These collaborative games add an element of fun to spelling practice.

Third Grade Spelling Games

Third graders may not find spelling to be the most exciting of activities, but these fun classroom games add teamwork and collaboration to the task, ensuring all types of learners, particularly those of the kinesthetic learning style, benefit.

Word Building Game

For this game, first divide students into two groups. Read a challenging vocabulary word aloud. Have each team attempt to guess how to spell the word one letter at a time. The first group attempts to guess the first letter, the second group attempts to guess the second letter, and so on. The teacher writes each correct guess on the classroom whiteboard. For each correctly chosen letter, that group gains a point. The group that completes the word by adding the final letter gains an additional two bonus points.

A group can also choose to end the round early, if in the process of spelling the longer word, they find they have completed a shorter a word. For example, if the goal is to spell the word cartridge, a team could choose to end the game after spelling the word cart. In this case, they only get one point but they may prevent the other team from completing the longer word.

After a certain amount of time or number of rounds, the team with the most points wins.

Spelling Time Trial

This is a game to be played in small groups. Each group should designate a writer for the task. Then give each group a set of 10 randomly chosen letters, including a mix of vowels and consonants. (These letters can be on individual wooden tiles like Scrabble tiles or squares of paper.) Give the group five minutes to spell as many words as they can from the set of 10 letters. The writer records them on an answer sheet as the team spells them.

Next, have groups rotate to another table, and complete the same challenge with another group's set of 10 letters. This continues until every group has had an opportunity to come up with words for every set of letters. Groups then count their words, and the group with the largest total number of correct words wins the game.

Spelling Trade Game

In this game, begin by writing a list of 10 weekly vocabulary words on the classroom chalkboard or whiteboard. Designate pairs of students. Give each pair a set of random individual letters. (These letters can be on individual wooden tiles like Scrabble tiles or squares of paper.) The goal for each pair is to correctly spell out as many of the words on the list as they can with the letters they were given. They do not have to spell the words in any order. Teachers and teaching assistants survey student progress and record points for each team when they correctly spell a word.

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