Monday, March 19, 2012

Spelling Games (Time Fillers)

This time of year we are much faster at finishing jobs and sometimes we just need a "game break."  Two of my favorites are Sparkle and Heads-Up Spell Up so I thought I'd share those 2 games today (my kids LOVE them!)

Students stand in a big circle.

I point to any random student in the circle to start the game and name one of our spelling words.

The first kid I point to tells me the first letter, the next kid tells me the next letter and so on as we work our way around the circle. (Ex:  spelling word "pit":  Student 1:  p  Student 2:  i   Student 3: t)

When the word is done the next person says "Sparkle"  Now I've seen it played several different ways at this point.  Some teachers have the student who said "sparkle" sit down (I do it this way) and some have the next kid in the circle sit down. Pretty sure there's no right or wrong way!  : )

Then we start the next word and keep moving around the circle.

The last child standing is the "winner."

Kids also have to sit down if they say the wrong letter or if they weren't listening and don't know what letter to say.

Heads-Up Spell-Up:
Did you ever play Heads-Up 7-Up as a child?  We do a variation of the game but incorporate spelling into the game.

Pick 7 kids to stand at the front of the classroom.

All other kids sit at their desks with their heads down (eyes hidden good!) and one thumb up.

The 7 kids that are up (get it....7-up?) quietly walk around the room and touch 1 thumb.

The child who's thumb is touched puts their thumb down so that no on else can touch their thumb.  (no peeking!)

When all 7 kids have touched a thumb I tell the kids to raise their heads and stand by their spots.  The kids that didn't have their thumbs touched stay seated.

Then, one at a time, I ask the kids standing to spell a word.  If they can spell it correctly they get to try and guess who touched their thumb.

If they guess the right student then they take the place of the person who touched their thumb (they become one of the 7-up an the other kid sits down.)  If they guess wrong then they sit back down.

After all 7 kids, who had their thumb touched, get a chance to guess then we have the 7-up kids tell us whose thumb they touched and the game starts again.

Clear as mud?  : )


  1. I love playing Sparkle with my class!

  2. Thanks for some great ideas on time fillers! I'm always looking for new, fresh ideas!

  3. I'm a high school Spanish teacher and believe it or not, I am going to find a way to incorporate this into my class, albeit with a few changes! Thanks for the idea :)