Oh spelling! It can come so easy for some little ones, and is just so darn tricky for others. We have been playing a lot with different ways to work on this skill and came up with a super fun Word Scramble Scavenger Hunt idea!
This year we have been using “Word Ladders” to help with spelling. I was introduced to this neat concept in Teacher’s College. The idea is to start with one word and change one or two letters at a time making different words. This allows children to see patterns in spelling, rhymes, word endings, vowel changes, etc.
We use these books which I purchased off Amazon (I am an Amazon affiliate): Word Ladders
We do one page each morning before starting our Reading/Writing block. I will write to you soon about what our homeschool day is looking like this year, as we have found it to be quite a good rhythm for us so far.
Anyways, these word ladders made me start to think about other fun ways to practice spelling. Something I used to love as a child was word scrambles. Do you know what I mean by that? A word that is all mixed around and you need to try to put it in the correct order?
Since my little guys (STILL – at the ages of 9 and 7) learn best through moving their bodies, I decided to turn these word scrambles into scavenger hunts.
I made it nice and simple writing down a few animal names on sticky notes – one letter per sticky. I then hid those sticky notes all around the main part of our house. Red sticky notes went together to make one animal, blue sticky notes together to make another, etc.
Then, my little guys raced around to gather the notes! The racing was not at all necessary … except for my boys, racing seems to always be necessary.
Next time, I would add a little number to the top corner of the sticky note so my children knew how many sticky notes in that colour they needed to find before they could unscramble their word. For this scavenger hunt I simply told them how many they were hunting for.
Once all of the sticky notes had been found, it was time to unscramble their words! There is so much learning with this step. My boys were trying to see which letter was likely to start their word, if perhaps there was a vowel team working inside the word, maybe a silent e changing vowel sounds, or even blends or digraphs inside the word!
They also occasionally made a word with the letters that was not the word I intended – did you know the letters of “horse” also make up the word “shore”? I did not, but learned it quickly when it was declared, “Hey! Shore is not an animal!!!!!”
Afterwards, we hid the same letters again and my boys would find them and put those letters in order nice and quick the second time. By the third time they could easily spell their word.
When children are engaged in an activity it is amazing how quickly they can learn a skill. This word scramble scavenger hunt was a fun way for us to practice a few words and hone our spelling skills.
Next time I think we will try it with phone numbers I want the boys to have memorised. Should work like a charm! But you know, these little ones of mine always like to throw curve balls, so I will hold of my recommendation for that one until I actually try it with them.
Thank you so much for reading friends!