Updated: Mar 18
This is part 4 of 5 methods for gamifying spelling so that a previously boring activity can now be fun for you and your students.
Just like the Letter Ladder, Bingo and Throwing and Catching games already covered this activity is easy, quick and flexible. Buzz requires very little preparation as the only thing required is a copy of the words to be spelt. It is great as a 5 minute brain break during longer sessions or can be played as a 20 minute game. It can be played in a circle with or without chairs or with students standing between their chair and their desk to refresh them and give their legs a stretch in the middle of other subjects.
How to play Spelling Buzz
For this game students stand in a circle or, if played around the classroom, in an order they can repeat. Students are given the word that needs to be spelt such as “gamify” and take it in turn to spell a letter in the word correctly. So, the first student says “g” the next “a” followed by “m” and so on until all 6 letters have been called out. The 7th student must say “buzz” to signify that the word have been spelt and the teacher can call the next word from the list.
Students must sit down if they spell a letter incorrectly, too slowly or fail to say “buzz” at the end of the word. The period of time for which students are seated is completely flexible. They could be elimination for the remainder of the game, excluded for the next one or 2 rounds or until they have written the misspelt word correctly 5 times. Whatever best suits your students and class needs. If an elimination method is used for a long game the last student standing is the winner.
This game is great for building student concentration as they must pre-empt their turn and be paying attention to other students to know if it is their turn. They must know the word being spelt and pay attention to where the class is up to in the word to offer the correct next letter. Students must also pay attention to who has been eliminated or excluded as these students are skipped in future rounds of the game.
If students have difficulty maintaining or following their position in the group you may need to use a ball passed around the group to provide a visual clue for where the word is up to and who it will move to next. So the game of buzz is quick, simple and easy. It provides an opportunity for students to spell their list words aurally and work as part of a team to make sure they spell their letter in each word at the correct time.