George Lucas Educational Foundation

4 Alternatives to Boring Spelling Drills

When students get to move, play, and be creative while learning to spell, the lessons are more engaging—and memorable.

June 16, 2023

Educator Shawna Kay Williams-Pinnock found that when she integrated her elementary students’ spelling practice with compelling tasks like creative writing, physical activities like jump rope and hopscotch, and brain-teasing games like word search puzzles and Wheel of Fortune, her students had more fun—and retained the skills better. Learn many more of the strategies Williams-Pinnock uses to motivate her students in her Edutopia article “11 Ways to Boost Elementary Students’ Spelling Skills.”

Want to know more about adding games to your lessons? Discover more with Hoa P. Nguyen’s article “How to Use Gameplay to Enhance Classroom Learning” and Hannah Bradley’s article “5 Vocabulary Games That Build Content Knowledge.”

Curious about the research on how movement benefits learners? Check out Shapiro and Stolz’s 2019 review of studies on embodied cognition; Kosmas, Ioannou, and Zaphiris’s 2019 research on the effects of embodied learning on children’s memory and language skills; and Madan and Singhal's 2012 article about using actions to enhance memory.

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Filed Under

  • Game-Based Learning
  • English Language Arts
  • K-2 Primary
  • 3-5 Upper Elementary

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