Spice Up Your Spelling Words

When rote doesn’t work, it’s time to reach into your bag of tricks to make spelling special. Third grade teacher Sally Engle is the inspiration for this list of interesting things to do with spelling words. Many of these exercises can be done at home, with a parent sending a note back that the words were completed.

1. ABC order- Write your words in alphabetical order.
2. Rainbow Words – Write your words in three colors
3. Backwards Words- Write your words forwards, then backwards.
4. Silly sentences -Use all your words in ten sentences
5. Picture words – Draw a picture and write your words in the picture.
6. Words without Vowels – Write your words replacing all vowels with a line.
7. Words without Consonants – Same as above but replace consonants with lines.
8. Story words – Write a short story using all your words.
9. Scrambled words -Write your words, then write them again with the letters mixed up.
10. Wordsearch II -Make a wordsearch with a friend, then trade and solve.
11. Wordsearch I – Complete a word pre-made search.
12. Crossword – Complete a pre-made crossword puzzle.
13. Surround words – Write your words on graph paper and outline in colors.
14. Ransom words – Write your words by cutting out letters in a newspaper or magazine and glue them on a paper.
15. Pyramid Words – Write your words adding or subtracting one letter at a time. The result will be a pyramid shape of words.
16. Words-in-words – Write your word and then write at least 2 words made from each.
17. Delicious words – Write your words in whipped cream, peanut butter,or anything you can eat! Bring in a note from a parent!
18. Good Clean Words -Write your words in shaving cream on a counter or some other surface that can be cleaned safely.
19. Dirty Words – Write your words in mud or sand.
20. Pasta Words – Write your words by arranging alphabet pasta or Alphabits. Glue on paper or bring me a note from a parent and do on a table or counter at home.
21. Reversed words – Write your words in ABC order -backwards!
22. 3D words – Use modeling clay rolled thinly to make your words. Bring a note if done at home.
23. Create an activity – Can you think of a fun way to do your spelling activities? Try it out!
24. Puzzle words – Use a blank puzzle form. Write your words on the form, making sure that the words cross over the pieces. Then cut them out (color if you wish) and put them in a baggie with your name on it. When you and a friend have completed your puzzles, trade and put them back together.
25. Magazine words – Use an old magazine or newspaper and find your word. Cut it out and glue it on paper.
26. Cheer your words – Pretend you are a cheerleader and call out your words! (We will do this as a group activity.) Sometimes you’ll yell, sometimes you’ll whisper! If you want to do this at home with a parent, get them to send me a note that you’ve done it.
27. Sound Words – Use a tape recorder and record your words and their spelling. Then listen to your tape, checking to see that you spelled all the words correctly.
28. X Words – Write two words having one common letter so they criss-cross.
29. Other Handed – If you are right-handed, write with your left, or vice versa.
30. Choo-Choo Words – Write the entire list end-to-end as one long word, using different colors of crayon or ink for different words.
31. Silly String – With a long length of string, “write” words in cursive, using the string to shape the letters.
32. Backwriting – Using your finger, draw each letter on a partners’ back, having the partner say the word when completed.
33. Telephone Words – Translate your words into numbers from a telephone keypad.
34. Flashwriting – In a darkened room, use a flashlight to draw letters in the air.
35. Newspaper Words – Search a newspaper page from top to bottom, circling each letter of a word as you find it.
36. 30 Second Words – Write a TV commercial using all the words from your list.
37. Popsicles – Make words using popsicle sticks.
38. Secret Agent Words – Number the alphabet from 1 to 26, then convert your words to a number code.
39. Etch-A-Word – Use an Etch-A-Sketch to write your words.
40. Morse Code – Convert your words to Morse Code


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  2. Another great idea is to find a clip art to represent the word (example, a clip art of a clock for the word “future”) then have them trace the clip art, with the spelling word (writing it over and over again) insted of with a line. The kids beg for more.

  3. i bumped into this site by chance but thank God i did. It’s very helpful especially when i have a spelling bee in a weeks time. Thanks!!!

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