As first graders dip their feet into the beginning of grade school, their teachers prepare for their inception by formulating lesson plans that will instill the basics of academics effectively. Spelling is one of the foundations of any education, and first graders should be taught how to spell well if they are expected to succeed. The following article will help you develop spelling games that are appropriate, yet challenging, for your first graders.
Make a list of words that are standard for first graders to know. Then, add a few challenge words which are at a second- or third-grade level. Using a whiteboard, ask one or two students to come to the front of the class and choose one of the words on your list. Have them try to draw or explain that word, without using it. If your students do not know the word, explain what it is to them before they try to explain to the class. You may also divide the class into two groups if the game proves difficult.
Play Hangman. Make a list, or use the one that you made for the previously-described game. You can either choose to write whole phrases and sentences, or you can have your class guess just one word. Whoever guesses the word correctly will have to define the word and then use it correctly in a sentence. You can also divide the class again into groups, and have one group choose a word and come up with a sentence that provides context clues as to what that word means.
Write a word on the board and leave some letters out. Go through each student for each word. So, once you have written the word, ask the first person to raise his or her hand. If that student is correct, then you can write another word for the next student. You can also mix the game up by allowing the student who answers the word correctly by coming up with a word on his or her own. However, be sure to set up “quality standards” (in other words, the chosen word should not be too long, difficult, easy, or short).
Since first graders love games, you can make spelling a fun activity by turning it into a game. So, take the example games above and make them your own. The more entertaining the learning process is, the better your first graders will learn.