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Lesson Plan #:AELP-SPG000
Author: Vicki Jennings, UT
Endorsed by: These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center’s Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops. Date: May 1994

Grade Level(s): 3


  • Language Arts/Spelling

Overview: As American as apple pie, the weekly spelling list is a cornerstone of education! Admit it or not, we all use lists (by choice or by administrative mandate!), and drilling and practicing for Friday’s test can be pretty boring! The following are three ideas I use with my third graders, though I feel each could be used with any grade.

Activities and Procedures:

  • Write the spelling word on the blackboard. As you point to each letter, have the students call out the letter. If the letter is a consonant, then the boys say the letter. If the letter is a vowel, then the girls call out the letter (later on have the girls say the consonants and the boys say the vowels). Once the students get the hang of it, have them stand up and then sit back down as each letter is called. This activity keeps students’ attention while learning new spelling words. The activity also provides a way for students to review vowels and consonants.
  • The whole class stands in a huge circle around the room. Pronounce a word, then point to a student who is to say the first letter, the next student (moving left or right) says the second letter, the third student says the third letter and so on, moving around the circle. If someone goofs, that student is out and returns to his/her seat. Repeat the word, then continue with the next student in the circle. The idea is to go as quickly as possible. Other ways of getting out may include taking too much time, repeating out loud what has already been said, or asking for the word to be repeated. It is a good idea to reward the final person standing with a small prize.
  • With students in groups of four, give each student a number: 1, 2, 3, or 4. Before the activity begins, write each team’s name across the blackboard. Also have four popsicle sticks with the number 1, 2, 3, or 4 written on one end placed in a cup with the numbers down. Pronounce the spelling word, then allow the teams 15-30 seconds to practice spelling the word within the team, making sure each member can spell the word. Say stop when the time is up and bring everyone to silence. Repeat the word and randomly choose a stick from the cup. If the stick has, for example, a 2 on it, then all the 2’s from each team come to the board and write the word below their team name large enough to be read, but small enough to be covered with their hand. Walk along and peek under each cupped hand, awarding a point to each team whose member has correctly spelled the word. By drilling each other, everyone learns to spell the word. By not know who from their team will be called on to spell the word, each person makes sure all of their fellow team members can spell the word.