Teaching Spelling Without the Sting: May 31 to June 4 on ReadWriteThink

BeeIt’s the time of year when spelling exotic words that you’d never use in day-to-day communication is all the rage. The final rounds of the Scripps Spelling Bee take place, with daily coverage on ESPN.

As I wrote in an NCTE Inbox blog post a couple of years ago, the problem is that while spelling has apparently become prime time entertainment, spelling bees still aren’t good pedagogy. A 2007 Washington Post article explains that spelling bees provide limited support to students learning about words and the ways that they work. Sue Ann Gleason, the teacher quoted in the article explains the spelling bees “honor the children who already know how to spell, but they do little to support those who need explicit instruction.”

So while the Spelling Bee may get kids and their families interested in spelling for a few days, take a look at the spelling lesson plans and activities on ReadWriteThink for ways to support every student (not just the ones who can spell funny words like weissnichtwo. And check out the calendar entries, lesson plans, and classroom activities below for more classroom-ready ideas. Have a great week!

New Resources

From the Calendar

Connecting with Other Teachers

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[Photo: Bee by _PaulS_, on Flickr]