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February 4, 2014

Out-of-the-Box Spelling & Vocabulary Activities

Before I became a mommy, my days were spent in the elementary classroom. In this blog post, I have included some ideas that I found to be effective when assisting children with their spelling words, Latin/Spanish word lists, vocabulary words, history/science/geography terms, etc.

Out-of-the-Box Spelling & Vocabulary Practice Activities
Appropriate for Elementary Students
Something for Every Kind of Learner
Spelling Activities

Maybe you are a teacher looking for some fresh ideas! Or maybe you are a parent, and you need something new to do with your child during home work time. Either way, I hope you find an idea below that will help the children in your life get excited about learning.


I have included ideas for various types of learners, so if you see some things you know will not work for your students/children, keep reading; and if you have something to add to the list, please leave a comment for other readers.

Use www.puzzlemaker.com to create word puzzles.

Alphabetize word list.

Play Hangman

Play Sparkle

Create tongue twisters - including list words in each one.

Scramble/Unscramble Words

Classify Words according to parts of speech.

Using cooked spaghetti noodles, "write" words - in manuscript or cursive.

Draw a small picture to correspond with each word.

Divide each word into syllables.
Write words in order from longest word to shortest word or shortest word to longest word.

Draw a picture and hide all of your words inside the drawing.

Phone Number Game - Have the students figure out the phone number of each of their words by using the corresponding numbers for each letter. Old cell phones may be used for this activity or you could write the following on the board: 2 ( a b c) 3 (d e f) 4 (g h i) 5 (j k l) 6 (m n o) 7 (p q r s) 8 (t u v) 9 (w x y z).

Top Secret - Have the students write their words in a secret code
and have a partner/friend/relative try to figure out the word.

Pantomime each word to practice the definition/meaning.

Rainbow Spelling: Write words three times each - using a different color each time.

Song-Writing: Create a song/rap using the words.

Practice Test: Put students in to partner sets; Allow them to give each other a practice test.

Sign-Language Spelling - Provide the student with the sign language chart & allow them to "finger-spell" each of their words [alone or with a partner].

Graffiti Wall/Word Mural - Divide the class up into teams; Give them a large sheet of art paper/table cloth paper on which to paint. Instruct them as to how you want them to paint their words on their mural.

Mirror Game - Put students in to partner sets. Have them write a word backwards & then instruct them to challenge their partner to figure out what the word is. The partners take turns back and forth.

Write sentences using the letters in each word. Example: tree = Tom Really Enjoys Eggs . 

"Vowel Dance" - Have the students orally spell their words, substituting a different movement for each vowel. A possible choice of activities might include: a= clap hands, e= stomp feet , i = snap finger, o = rub stomach, u= click tongue. for example: to spell dog - say "d"; rub stomach for "o"; say "g".

"Roll 'Em Game" - Any number of people can play but the less that play, the more  practice the child will get with his/her words. You need the word list, a sheet of writing paper, a pencil and a pair of dice. To play, each group member takes a turn rolling the dice and adding the two numbers shown. The person who rolls the greatest sum or product wins the round and copies two of the words on his/her paper. Play continues until one person has listed all the words and is declared the winner.

Write a word triangle for each word. (Triangles can later be classified, measured, etc.)
Example:
c
ch
che
chee
chees
cheese

LOOK - THINK - COVER - WRITE - CHECK Method
(Feel free to Google this method; I know I've heard it called other things.)

Words without Vowels - Have student write their words replacing all vowels with a line.
OR
Words without Consonants - Same as above but replace consonants with lines.

"Write" words in shaving cream, cool whip, pudding, sand, or paint.

Toss a ball back-and-forth. 

Each time the ball is caught, the player holding the ball provides the next letter in the word. 

Use alphabet pasta and/or alphabet cereal to spell words.

Give a parent or grandparent a "massage" by finger-spelling the words onto their back.

For more great ideas, be sure to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers shop!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to read
How to Build a Great Collection of Books for Your Kids:

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