Kinesthetic Spelling Activity
Active Ways to Teach Spelling
"Let grammar, punctuation, and spelling into your life! Even the most energetic and wonderful mess has to be turned into sentences." -Terry Pratchett
The ability to spell words correctly comes innately for some people. For others, it's a struggle. Being able to spell words is a skill that will help a person throughout their life. Not only are good spelling skills important for writing fluency they also leave an impression on the reader. When there are a lot of spelling mistakes it can appear that the writer is uneducated. With the children that we work with a high rate of spelling errors is an indicator of weak phonics and memory skills.
But what can we do about it? Practicing spelling by rote is painfully boring and often the child forgets the spelling words as soon as they finish the spelling test. Our answer is to take a multi-sensory approach with the hope that it will help children remember spelling rules and enjoy the learning process.
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Sometimes issues with spelling come from a weak foundation in phonics. Play some phonics games with the children to see how well they know parts of words.
Today we are going to focus on spelling skills with active spelling games the kids will want to play.
- Spell the words with play dough. This is a good activity for beginning readers and preschoolers. You can get some free playdough spelling mats from The Reading Mama.
- Write the words in a salt tray. Fill a tray with salt or sand or cornmeal. Write the words on index cards and have the children finger write the word in the sensory tray.
- Use LEGO to spell words. Build letters out of LEGOs and use them to spell words.
- Jump from Letter to Letter. Write letters on pieces of paper and then have the child jump from letter to letter to spell the word.
- Go on a spelling treasure hunt! Hide letters of the spelling words in plastic eggs around the house. Find each letter to put together the spelling words!
- Bean Bag Spelling: Write the alphabet on a large paper and put it on the floor and use bean bags to toss onto each of the letters to practice spelling words.
- Walk Your Spelling Words – This gross motor spelling activity is a great activity from kids who just need to move.
- Play the classic game of Mother May I with spelling words. Have the leader choose a word to be spelled and the players need to spell the word. Have the kids take turns to spell or it will quickly turn to chaos. Each player takes one step forward for each letter in the word they correctly spelled.
- Kinesthetic Spelling Activity: Write the letters of the alphabet on large pieces of cardboard or stiff paper. Put the children in teams of 4-6 kids and have them compete to spell words with each child holding one letter to spell a word. Give them points based on how long a word they spell.
Hands-on learning and active games that use a multi-sensory approach are sure to benefit all children and help them to remember how to spell. It is particularly helpful for children who may have a learning disability and a far less painful way to learn for those children who just can't sit still. Let us know which one of these active spelling games is your favorite.