Grade: Elementary
Subject: other

#1723. Spellball

other, level: Elementary
Posted Tue Apr 25 10:41:11 PDT 2000 by Nicole Strack (Debbie Salih) (
Student Work
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA USA
Materials Required: spelling words, nerf ball, garbage can, chalk, chalkboard, masking tape
Activity Time: about 30 minutes
Concepts Taught: Spelling practice, grammar practice

Name of the Teacher: Nicole L. Strack

Name of the Lesson: Spellball

Subject Area: Spelling

Grade Level: 5th Grade

Grouping of Students: Students will be separated into two teams of equal size.

Time: 30 minutes

Prerequisite Knowledge: Students need to have learned the spelling words being used in this activity ahead of time. It is possible that some of the words will be from the week's list that is in progress but students should still have seen and practiced the words.

Materials for Student and Teacher:
List of spelling words that have been covered lately
Nerf ball
Garbage can (preferably empty)
Masking tape

Objectives of the Lesson:
1. Given this spelling activity, the 5th grade student will be able to accurately spell the words presented from the list.
1. Given a spelling word, the 5th grade student will correctly write that word on the chalkboard.
2. Given that the 5th grade student correctly spells a word, the student will properly use that word in a sentence.

Introduction (5 minutes)
1. Ask the students to tell you some of the spelling rules or categories of words they have been studying.
2. Write them on the overhead. (Some examples are: words with vowel/consonant endings, words with silent letters - wr, gh, b, kn)
3. Tell them that they will be playing a game to become better spellers.

The Activities (20 minutes)
1. Explain the game.
One person from each team will come up to the board so that there are two people at the board at one time.
I will give you a spelling word and then you will write it, using chalk, as quickly and accurately as you can.
The first person done with the word spelled correctly will earn a point for their team.
Then that person will have a chance to use the word correctly in a sentence. Doing this in the proper fashion will earn his/her team a second point.
If the student is able to do both of those things then he/she will have the opportunity to shoot the Nerf ball into the garbage can from behind the masking tape line.
However, if the student who initially spells the word right in the least amount of time fails to complete the second step, no shooting takes place and the next two people representing the teams come to the board for the next word.
If a neither of the students can spell the word correctly in step one then they will be given one chance to correct the word. If there still is not a winner then the next two people come to the board to try to spell the same word.
2. Place a piece of masking tape 1-2 feet long approximately 15 feet from the position of the garbage can.
3. Split the class into two equal-sized teams.
4. Have each team give itself a name.
5. Write the names of the teams on either side of the chalkboard.
6. Underneath the team name write "Points" and draw a line under it. That is where the teams will tally the points that they score.
7. Call the first two people to the chalkboard.
8. Give the first word. Be sure to pronounce it clearly.
9. Continue play as described in the above instructions.

Closing (5 minutes)
1. Add up each team's points and determine the winner.
2. Be sure to explain that even though one team scored more points than the other did (except in the case of a tie) they all did a great job and you appreciate their participation.
3. Ask the students what they liked about the game. Ask what they think could be changed about the game to make it better.

Assessment: Make note of the skills and word families that the students list for you at the beginning of the lesson. Did they come up with an accurate list of what has been covered lately in Spelling? Also, during the game pay attention to the words that students seem to struggle with. Mark those words on the list and cover them in your next review.

Accommodations/Extensions for special needs students:
Students with Learning Disabilities - Consider dividing these students so that all of them are not on the same team. This will help to more evenly distribute ability among the groups.