Amazing Spelling Race – a word jumble game to engage students


Okay, so a spelling jumble game is not a new idea, but the ‘Amazing Race’ aspect should engage my Year 9 class and encourage friendly rivalry. This year, I am teaching a lower ability class, with some challenging behaviours.

We begin the year with Our World View – documenting our world and my plan is to introduce a spelling list of ten words on Monday each week that includes words nominated by the class and relevant to our work. For example, we begin the unit with a video clip of favourite David Attenborough moments (from Nerdfighteria Wiki) and students will be be given post-its. Their task is to record information on separate notes, such as the name of an animal, a film techniques, why the clip was chosen. Hopefully, some of these words will be part of the spelling list.

Our spelling test each Friday (love it when the timetable allows a simple structure that students can remember) will consist of jumbled letters for each word on the list that students must unscramble.

The jumbled letters will be in individual envelopes and students can choose to work alone, in pairs or small groups. Once a word is unscrambled, students must come to the front of the room to collect another envelope. Maybe I should start with five words?

Once the ‘game’ is understood by all students, I’ll be adding a numerical value for each letter and students will be able to add up their words.

Importantly, the words will be on display on a small whiteboard all week. I intend to leave some on the board as incentive so that every student can unscramble some words.

Our school has signed up to the online reward system of ‘vivo’ and these will be awarded each week for different areas, such as first to  complete, most correct words, best team effort, highest score …

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