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Earn Spelling Points!

Return to Spice Up Your Spelling Lessons


Arts & Humanities

  • Language Arts

  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8

Brief Description

More than 20 activities for spicing up your weekly spelling lessons!


Students will
  • select spelling word activities from the list.
  • select a variety of activities that add up to at least 50 points.



Materials Needed

Many of these activities require nothing more than pencil or paper; see each activity for material requirements.

Lesson Plan

This lesson provides a number of ways to spice up your weekly spelling assignments. Provide a list of activities students might do with their spelling words. Students select from the list activities that add up to at least 50 points. Some ideas and point values follow, but you will want to create your own list of activities and point values to post in your classroom.

If you teach young students, you might introduce a few activities a week instead of introducing students to a dozen ideas at once.

You also can set guidelines for each weeks activities. For example, students might be required to do at least two 5-point activities and one 10-point activity.


  • Write your spelling words in ABC order.
  • Write each spelling word without its vowels. Replace each vowel with a line.
  • Write your words in shaving cream. (Students spray their desks with shaving cream. They use their fingers to spell the words. The teacher will correct this spelling assignment, which happens to be a nice way to clean students desks too!)
  • Write your spelling words as fractions, based on the number of vowels and consonants in each word. (See the Fraction Spelling lesson.)
  • Write your spelling words in crayon. Write each consonant letter in red and each vowel in blue.
  • Clap the chalkboard erasers on your classrooms chalkboard to make a white area. Dip a Q-tip in water and write your words on the board.


  • Write each spelling word five times.
  • Write each spelling word in a rainbow of colors. First, write the words with a red crayon. Trace over the words with a blue crayon. Finally, trace the words again with a green crayon.
  • Write your words with all the letters mixed up. Then ask a friend to unscramble the words. Correct your friends paper. Each of you earns ten points.
  • Write each spelling word. Next to each word, write two additional words of at least four letters that can be spelled using the letters in the word.
  • Use plastic bags full of letters to spell out this weeks words. Spell them out on your desk or on a sheet of black paper. (Letters can be gathered from a number of sources: They might be old plastic/magnetic letters, letter tiles from board games, letters from a box of alphabet cereal, or letters from a box of "alphabet soup pasta.)
  • Create a secret code by assigning a number to each letter of the alphabet. Write your spelling words in code. Challenge a classmate to use that code to decode each word. Correct your classmates work. Each of you earns 10 points. (For more ideas, see the lesson Spelling Counts.)
  • Spell your words into a tape recorder. Say each word, then use it in a sentence, then spell the word, then say it again.
  • Spell out your spelling words using alphabet rubber stamps and an inkpad.
  • Write your words with the hand you do not usually write with. (For example, if you are right-handed, write your words with your left hand.)
  • Write each word in numbers. Find each letter on a telephone keypad and write the corresponding number for each letter.


  • Use each spelling word in a sentence. Correct spelling and grammar count!
  • Find each of your spelling words in a word search puzzle. (Teachers might use Puzzlemaker or another software program to create the puzzles; older students can create their own puzzles.)
  • Spell your words in Braille or Morse Code.
  • Use pipe cleaners, rolled modeling clay, broken-up spaghetti noodles, or ice-pop sticks to spell out your words.
  • Edit ten sentences for errors of grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Each sentence should include one of the spelling words for the week; an error is carefully worked into the sentence. (For young students, the teacher will need to prepare this activity in advance; older students might create the activity on their own and have a classmate play editor.)
  • Choose a partner. Cut index cards or drawing paper into 3-inch squares. Make 20 squares. Each of you must write the same ten spelling words on the squares, one word to a card. Then lay the cards face down and play a Concentration-like game.


  • Use your spelling words to write a short story. Your story must include all your spelling words.
  • Cut out large letters from headlines or ads in newspapers or magazines. Use the letters to spell your words. Paste the letters on a large sheet of paper.
  • Use index cards or drawing paper cut into 3-inch squares. Choose a spelling word and write each letter of the word on one of the cards. Include 4 extra cards with letters that you or some of your classmates might use if they misspelled the word. (For example, if the spelling word is choice, you will include cards with the letters c, h, o, i, c, and e. Some students might hear the s sound or the y sound in choice, so include those letters among the four extra cards; those "wild cards are included to try to throw your classmates off track. Put all the letters in an envelope and write on the envelope the definition of the word. Do this for ten of your spelling words. Then pass your letter game to a classmate. When the classmate is finished, check his or her work. You earn 20 points, and your classmate earns 10 points for this activity.
  • Write a mnemonic sentence to help you remember each of your spelling words. Each letter of the word should start a word in the sentence. For example, an mnemonic sentence for the word throw might be Ted has rented one wheelbarrow.


  • Find a misspelled word in the newspaper, a magazine, or some other printed publication. Or find a misspelled word somewhere in your community (on a billboard, a sign, a menu). Bring the misspelled word (or a picture of it) to school and add it to a "Spelling Detectives bulletin board in your classroom.


Students will earn scores of 80% or higher on their weekly spelling test.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards


See more spelling lesson ideas in the Education World articles, Spell It Out! and Vocabulary and Spelling: Do Your Students Say 'Boring'?

Return to this weeks Lesson Planning article, Spice Up Your Spelling Lessons.

Originally published 10/04/2002
Last updated 02/22/2010