Spell It or Tell It

8 Jun

Last week I went into the dollar store looking for gardening gloves and left with a dictionary.  While I was disappointed about the gardening gloves, I hit the jackpot with the $1.00 dictionary.  It is super basic, which made it perfect for a new game we call Spell It or Tell It.

How to Play:
1. Find a word in the dictionary.  Say the word to Player 1 and ask them if they want to Spell It or Tell It.
2. Player 1 can Spell It (obviously, spell the word) or Tell It (define it in their own way).
3. If they get it right, mark it by writing the year next to the word.  Now, Player 2 gets a turn.
4. Repeat Steps 1-3, taking turns with all the players until someone misses a word.  The last person to accurately answer is the winner of that round.

Few suggestions:
1. Start out on the easy side and let the words get progressively more difficult. 
2. Remember that the point is to learn more about words, spelling patterns, definitions, and a little etymology (the origins of words, yo) – make it positive and praise effort.
3. I hold firm that words need to be spelled properly, but am pretty flexible on definitions.  If it doesn’t exactly match the way it is defined in the dictionary, but I can tell they can find words to describe it to me, I give it to them.
4. The word reader (you) is the judge.  All judgements are arbitrary and final, in line with General Parenting Guidelines (aka Because I Said So).

Where & When to Play:
1. While waiting for dinner.  This is a great game to play at the countertop while everyone is begging for dinner but the noodles are not yet finished.  It may only be 7-8 minutes for al dente perfection, but that 7-8 can be LONG if anyone is STARVING.
2. In the car.  In my mind, anything that does not involve tiny game pieces or require a flat surface is a good one for the car.  Trust me, no one wants to try to reach down between the seat to retrieve a lost game piece.  It’s scary down there.

Recommended Ages:
Ages 5 and Up.  New readers/spellers may find the defintions easier, but they’ll love it when they are given a word that they can spell.  More experienced readers will give great examples for definitions, and may like the challenge of spelling tricky words that they’ve already discovered.

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