For English language learners, spelling can be rather boring and tedious. That is unless you play some awesome spelling games! There are so many exciting games you can play to practice spelling, and if done right, spelling can actually be super fun! In this post, we’ve teamed up with Andy – The ESL Guy to bring you the top 5 ESL spelling games that are guaranteed to make your spelling lesson more fun and exciting.
ESL Spelling Games
Game 1: Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe
Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe is a classic game with a spelling twist. Draw a 3×3 grid on the board and write a letter and a corresponding number in each space. The students must then choose a letter and spell out a word with the correct number of letters. (I often base these on the vocabulary we are learning at that time). Continue until one team gets three in a row! You can even mix it up by throwing a sticky ball to select your letter or increase the grid size to 4×4 for an added challenge.
Game 2: Hike The Pyramid
To begin, draw two sets of steps going up and down on the board and give the students clues about the words they must write. For example, “You wear this in winter when it’s cold. You wear it around your neck. You wear it on your head.” Leave a space at the end where the students have to write any word they can think of with the correct amount of letters to complete the hike! You can award one point for finishing first, one point for the best handwriting, and one point for each word spelled correctly.
Game 3: Catch And Spell
Catch and Spell is a game that requires teamwork and quick thinking. Have all your students stand up in a circle and prepare either a ball or a balloon. The student holding the balloon says a word, and when they hit the balloon to the other student in the circle, they have to say the first letter of the word. Then they hit the balloon to another student and they say the next letter. Carry on until the word has been completed. If a student says the wrong letter, use a three-strike system to keep the game going.
Game 4: Correct The Teacher
Correct The Teacher is a game that puts the students in charge! Have students come up to the board and race to correct the misspelled words. Alternatively, have them write down the correct words in their notebooks. To make it even more fun and challenging, you can even add some words that are spelled correctly. You can also allow students to act like the teacher and choose incorrectly spelled words for the rest of the class to correct!
Game 5: Chain Words
Chain Words is a spelling game that encourages creativity and strategic thinking. Separate the class into two teams and use a well-behaved student’s name as the first word. Next, have teams take turns spelling a word that starts with the last letter of the previous word. For example, if the first word is the name ‘Lily’, then the next word should start with the letter ‘y’. To make this game more fun, draw some ‘lanes’ on the far side of the board and award points/stars if a team can make their word chain reach all the way to that lane.
Thanks for reading! I hope your students have lots of fun playing these spelling games. For more ESL teaching tips and game ideas, don’t forget to check out Andy – The ESL Guy’s YouTube Channel. And if you’re looking for ready-to-use ESL games, check out our Activity Videos, PPT Games, ESL Worksheets, Online Quizzes, and ESL Printables.