Search form

Numerical Value of Words


Return to Spotlight on Spelling



  • Arts & Humanities:
    Language Arts
  • Mathematics:


  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12


Brief Description

Students use letter tiles from a Scrabble® game to calculate the spelling word with the highest mathematical value.



Students will
  • correctly spell words.
  • accurately calculate the mathematical value of each spelling word.
  • figure out which spelling word has the highest value.



Spelling, Scrabble, addition, game, value, mathematics

Materials Needed

  • Scrabble® letter tiles (Option: Print out, photocopy, and cut tiles from Scrabble Graphics, or create your own letter tiles work sheet.)
  • pencil and paper


Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students use letter tiles from a Scrabble game (or other sources, see Materials Needed section above) to build their spelling words for the week. Challenge students to use tiles to create those words; then add up the value of the letters in each word to learn which of the week's spelling words has the highest mathematical value.

For example, if students' spelling words include forest and blank, the values are:

Note: Letter values appear in parentheses.
F (4) + O (1) + R (1) + E (1) + S (1) + T (1) = 9
B (3) + L (1) + A (1) + N (1) + K (5) = 11

So far, the word blank has the largest value. Students continue to figure the value for the other words on their weekly spelling lists to learn which word has the highest mathematical value.

Extension Activities

  • Older students might arrange their words to create a crossword puzzle on a Scrabble board game sheet. They use the DOUBLE and TRIPLE LETTER SCORE and DOUBLE and TRIPLE WORD SCORE squares on the board to figure the total for the entire spelling list. Who comes up with the highest score?
  • Learn about creating a Scrabble in School Club.


Students spell and calculate with at least 85 percent accuracy.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
GRADES Pre-K - 2
NM-NUM.PK-2.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-NUM.9-12.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates

MATHEMATICS: Connections
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-CONN.PK-12.3 Recognize and Apply Mathematics in Contexts Outside of Mathematics

Find more great spelling activity ideas in Education World's Spelling Activity Archive.

Click to return to this week's spelling activity lesson plans, Spotlight on Spelling.

Education World®
Copyright © 2010 Education World


Originally published 05/23/2003
Last updated 06/02/2010