Spelling Bees

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
junior high school first year Vocabulary consolidation and listening practice. none 10 mins Letter cards

Discuss this activity here.

To play, simply speak the target word, after which it's the students' task to select the letters which spell the word, and then align themselves (holding a card or cards) in correct order. When they think they have the spelling right they must call out to the ALT, "___ sensei, we are ready." If the word is misspelt, they have the chance to try again. When they have the spelling right, give them an ordinal number (1st team, 2nd team...), and have them sit or crouch down. As well as being a useful teaching device, this makes it easier to see the other teams, and also to score after the turn is complete. I.e., simply ask, "Who was the 1st team?" etc., and award points to that group. If there are 6 teams, 6 points are awarded to the 1st team, 5 to the 2nd, 4 to the 3rd, etc.. At the end of your time, tally the points on your scoreboard and reward the winning team.

Teaching Tip

Don't wait for your JTEs to ask you for an activity, look at the next day's classes (e.g., 3-2, 3-1, & 1-4) and then spend some of your free time during the day making templates of activities that practice those lessons' grammar points. Be prepared. If you don't use the activities on that day, put them in your files where they'll be ready when you do need them. The worse thing you can do is to sit doing nothing or reading a book or the paper. Such activities will merely isolate you from your fellow teachers. When inspiration fails, try making English labels for various rooms such as the Principle's Office, the Printing Room, Stairs, Hallway, Infirmary, Library etc., etc.. Showing such an interest in their school will do much for your standing with the other teachers, as well as the students.

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