I built Word Family Spelling Word Lists on the free website, https://www.spellingtraining.com.
Students can click the links in Word Family Spelling to play multiple reading and spelling games using word lists I have pre-built on the website. The word lists are based on word families in Let’s Read, A Linguistics Approach, Let’s Read, Second Edition, Revised and Updated, written by Cynthia A. Barnhart and Robert K. Barnhart. I highly recommend Let’s Read for its thorough and systematic linguistic approach to building reading skills. https://www.amazon.ca/Lets-Read-Linguistic-Approach-Revised/dp/0814334555
If you would like to make your own spelling or reading word lists simply go to Spelling Games website using the address link above.
GAMES I DO NOT RECOMMEND
There are specific games on the Spelling website that I do not recommend for budding readers and spellers who are in the early stages of developing reading/spelling skills:
- Spelling Sharks (only because it requires strong typing skills).
- Word Search Puzzle: Word Search puzzles are a poor activity for developing reading skills. Word Search puzzles are a no-brain workout compared to reading games that require a student to sound out and read whole words. Yes, initially, in the clues of a Word Search puzzle, students are required to sound out and read the whole word. However, the time and attention devoted to searching for a letter-by-letter match in the squirrely layout of a Word Search (words randomly hidden in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal pattern) does little to developreading skills. (Note: Maximum 18 words)
- Jungle Speller: Students spell words by letter name –not by sound. The brain primarily stores words by sound patterns not by visual memory so the Jungle Speller is not particularly helpful for early development of spelling or reading skills.
Currently, these are the steps I follow in class for the spelling games DRAGON and EVEREST:
The DRAGON GAME is a fan favourite! Students get to “fly” the dragon at the end of the game.
- Word is automatically dictated by the game
- Student repeats the word
- Student finger-spells the word (uses hand opposite of writing hand, one finger per sound beginning with thumb)
- Student sounds as they spell the word in “beads” (sand, cornmenal, etc.) or on a whiteboard
- Adult types the word on the keyboard.
- Set a timer for 5 minutes.
Procedure B (optional): After 5 minutes the procedure slightly changes:
- Follow Steps 1-3 above
- Beads (or whiteboard) are omitted and students type the words on the keyboard.
- Set the timer for 5 minutes.
Alternate between Procedure A and Procedure B until the spelling component of the game is completed. At the end, the student can control the dragon with the mouse and explore the island and locate hidden animals.
For the ROLLER COASTER GAME students spell all of the words in “beads” or on a whiteboard.
There are many other FREE games students can explore on the Spelling website! Click “typing games” in the top right-hand corner of the screen to access:
- Math games
- Typing Training
- Spelling and Vocabulary
- MS Office Training
- Grammar and Writing
- Life Skills for Kids
- Relaxing Mindfulness
I haven’t explored the above-mentioned games myself. Please be sure to tell me what you think of them if you try them!