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Our Spelling Spot


Kids will be seeing spots on this Dalmatian themed bulletin board that is sure to get them excited about spelling.

This bulletin board Dalmatian -- the type of dog often associated with fire trucks -- might be just the tool to "spark" your students' interest in spelling. Change its spots each week so they reflect the week's spelling words.

Set aside space on either side of the bulletin-board Dalmatian as a spot to display all the students' spelling tests from the previous week that earned 100% scores. You might post them in a single narrow column, one atop the other, so just the students' names are visible.

Changing the Dalmatian's spots each week and posting the perfect-score tests is a great job for a parent volunteer to do on a weekly basis.


Cover a bulletin board with white construction or drawing paper. Find an appropriate image of a Dalmatian (possible sources: source 1, source 2, source 3). Then copy your source image onto a transparency and project it onto your white-papered bulletin board. Trace the outline of the Dalmatian and its spots. Use black markers to go over the outline of the dog and color in the spots. You might adjust ten of the spots (the ones where you will post the week's ten spelling words) so they are the exact same size.

If you plan to use this bulletin board all year long and if you are handy (or know someone who is), you might cut a sheet of wood paneling into spot-sized circles and paint with blackboard paint. Hot glue the blackboard spots to the Dalmatian. Then you can use chalk to write each week's words on your Dalmatian's spots. At the end of the week, erase the spots and write next week's words.

Use the bulletin board as the backdrop for a learning center where you might present some of the following activities:

  • On a large sheet of paper write ten sentences that employ this week's spelling words. A big black spot appears in the "spot" where students need to place one of the week's words. Give students an envelope with ten black spots in it; on each spot is written in white or silver ink one of the ten spelling words. Students must match up each of the ten word spots with the spot in the sentence where that word best fits.
  • Prepare a "Spelling Spot" work sheet with ten large circles (or spots) on it. Write one of the week's spelling words in scrambled form in each spot. Students must unscramble each scrambled word to spell one of their spelling words. They must write the unscrambled word under the scrambled word in each spot.
  • Prepare ten black spots; each spot has written on it in silver or white ink the definition of one of the week's spelling words. Students must match each definition to one of the Dalmatian's word spots and tack the definition spot so it overlaps the appropriate word spot on the bulletin board dog.
  • If the black spots on your Dalmatian are erasable, on one day during the week you might erase two letters in each spelling word and replace those letters with blank lines (for example, com_u_er). Students must fill in the blanks in all ten words to write their spelling words (for example, computer).


    Find more bulletin board ideas in our Bulletin Boards That Teach Archive.

    See these articles about bulletin boards:

  • From "Pretty" to Practical: Using Bulletin Boards to Teach
  • Your Search for Bulletin Board Ideas Is Over

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