teach kids spelling

How to Teach Spelling So Kids Will Remember by Annabelle Fee

Spelling Bees are more often connected with horror stories of embarrassment and skipping school, than with successfully teaching young children how to spell. Surely, they are good for talented students enjoying competitions, but many other sassociate it with nausea from the fear of getting it wrong while the whole class is looking at them. That is why we’ve decide to compile a list of activities for teaching children how to spell in a more enjoyable and less stressful manner.

These activities that will help a wider range of kids. It is always important to remember that kids learn best when they find the process interesting, rather than when simply cramming. Adults, unfortunately, often think that only sitting at your desk for hours is real studying, but by introducing appropriate games, you will see that fun is where the knowledge begins.

Learning spelling should be fun.

1. Spelling tic-tac-toe
Tic-tack-toe is a fun game for all ages, but many don’t know that you can use it to practice spelling. Instead of Xs and Os, each player is represented by one word they have to practice (practise BrE) spelling. In this way, kids can write the word over and over without even noticing it. You can encourage using another word for every round, or continue with the same one if you see the the child making a mistake. The best thing about this method is that it can be used both as an in-class activity and a fun way to spend your afternoon at home. Parents and older siblings can take part as well, I am sure we all have a word or two that is giving us headaches.

2. Window writing
Children love to paint the walls and windows, even though parents and teachers are often less than thrilled. But if you buy Window Crayons, at least the window-writing activity can return to the “allowed” list. For an in-school activity, let the children write down the names of people in their class – it is better if they write the names of other children rather than their own; if you are doing this at home, instead of classmates, let your child write the names of people in your family. After that, at home or at school, they can write down the words they are practicing (practising BrE). For more fun, you could first ask them to draw the words and then write them down. As long as it is colourful, they won’t object.

write spelling Let them create word art

3. Singing the words
Older students learn biology through singing (been there, done that) and it honestly helps with remembering the bones in the body. Why not use that technique for spelling? Six-letter words are great with ‘Happy Birthday’ tune, ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ works for seven-letter words, and eight-letter words go with ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow’. You can do this as a chorus, so no child feels embarrassed if they get the letters in the wrong order. Even if they do, they will hear the correct one and remember it. Best part, you can do this very often without children getting bored.

4. Encourage them to read
Many great spellers are great readers*, but the love of reading is less and less present in children. Encourage your child to read whatever they want, regardless of the school-prescribed books. Most schools have libraries, so providing your child with books on regular basis can be free. Finally, children are more likely to embrace reading if they see you read. Lead by example. Your own spelling might improve. (*See Spelling vs. Reading)

5. Write holiday cards together
Whether in school or at home, you can always give children some holiday cards or letters to write. They can be sent to family members, students and teachers, or my personal favourite: to nursing homes, foster cares, or other similar organisations. This can improve their empathy as well as spelling, and teach them to care for other people. Again, as long as you give them colourful pens and allow them to draw as well as write, this should be a fun activity for them. When it comes to holiday cards, it is also a nice family tradition to do it together. It is something your child will always remember, and so will you.

If your child has problems with other subjects, please read our 5 Tips to Motivate your Child to Study More .

Annabelle is part of the Content and Community team at SmileTutor, sharing valuable content to their own community and beyond.