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Spelling Millionaires

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Greetings from Minnesota!

I stumbled on an excellent spelling game while trying to introduce new food items. (Sometimes the best teaching practices happen serendipitously...) Don't show the pictures or flashcards to the class until the game is about to begin.

This game incites healthy competition, review work, A LOT of laughter, and teamwork. It not only provides necessary repetition, but the whole class can feel comforted that common spelling errors are made by all and can be corrected immediately through the game's process. It is appropriate for all levels.

1. Gather several pictures of words you have studied that need additional practice. Make sure to include both easier and more difficult ones.

2. Divide the class into groups of three or four. Pick fun team names.

3. When everyone is ready, hold up the first card. The group that correctly identifies the picture gets first attempt at spelling the word. They get only one chance, so the game encourages a lot of collaboration and discussion.

4. When they have decided on a spelling of the displayed word, you can ask all Regis-like, "Is that your final answer?" This also serves to provide some American popular culture. If they are correct, they win a point. If they are not correct, it goes to the next group who identified the word correctly. You keep passing the spelling chance around until it is spelled correctly.

This is a lot of fun to watch. One person can determine the correct spelling and even those struggling with literacy in English can be designated spellers if they know English letters. My adult class, which is composed of many pre-literate cultures, had a lot of fun with this game. If you liked it, you can check out my "Magazine Madness Treasure Hunt" game in the "Games" section of the Idea Cookbook. Best of luck and happy teaching! - Heather

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