We must face one simple truth when choosing words for a spelling contest or teaching students how to compete in one.
It’s impossible to recall all the words that were thrown at them, and there is not enough time or a large enough list.
Instead, we need to teach spelling words in a way which teaches a deeper understanding.
We have gathered over 100+ spelling words and include their syllables and graphemes in an online spelling program .
These words were not always so difficult. The dictionary was not always so difficult when students faced it in 1925 in a National Spelling Bee. The winning speller had the word down because the Kentucky plant was in his Kentucky garden.
The last time Scripps National Bee spellers were competing for the title, two years ago, one of the winners was asked about an adjective that related to a hypothetical force suggested by a Prussian scientist during the 19th century.
Nearly 200 people have been eliminated from the 2021 Bee already this year. Below are some examples of words that have caused trouble for spellers, as well as winning words from decades past when spelling bees were less complicated due to schwas and loan words.
Merriam-Webster is the dictionary partner to the Scripps spelling bee. Sentences are taken from the New York Times archive where possible.
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Example of Spelling Bee Words
These are some examples of grade-level spelling bee words.
Nepeta: Catmint (anyone of a Nepeta genus) of Old World temperate zone herbs of the mint family
Fewtrils: Things of Little Value
Fidibus is a paper spill that lights pipes
Haltere : The haltere is one of two club-shaped organs found in a dipteran fly. They are the modified second pair wing and serve as sensory flight stabilizers.
Athanor was a self-feeding, digesting furnace used by alchemists.
Depreter is a finishing touch for plaster walls that uses small stones to press into the soft plaster.
Consertal: A texture in which the crystals are interlocked with irregularly shaped crystals, derived from an igneous rock.
Psychoagogic: Attractive, persuasive, and inspiring; pertaining to psychagogy
Thanatophidia: Venomous snakes
chrysal is a transverse line made up of crushed fibers that runs through the belly of an archerybow. It was originally used as a pinch.
Cloxacillin is a semi-synthetic oral penicillin that can be used to treat staphylococci, especially those who secrete beta lactamase.
Remember that spelling bees are not meant for everyone. Encourage students to reduce frustration during the spelling bee. Students shouldn’t feel embarrassed if they miss a difficult word.
Everyone in the competition will be eliminated at some point, with the exception of the winner. It’s a never-ending game. There is always another spelling bee right around the corner.
Some spelling activities can be used in your next lesson plan with the help of spelling city. It is a very useful destination to develop vocabulary online.
Best Spelling Strategies for Spelling Bee
1- Keep studying daily until you are ready for the competition.
Start studying as soon as you receive the study guide. To be disciplined and teach your brain how the words are processed in daily slots, it is best to set aside a few hours each day. It is better to spend as much time studying before the spelling bee, as cramming too many words in a few days can prove confusing and counterproductive.
2- Use index cards
Because index cards allow you to write down the spelling and meaning of words on the front, they’re great for learning words before spelling bees. They are portable and easy-to-use. You may find it useful to use different colors of index cards to organize words by categories such as language origin. This will help you to better understand certain patterns.
3- Use Your Dictionary
While reading can help you to learn the spelling of unfamiliar words and phrases, few books are as helpful as your trusted dictionary. Learn your diacritics, but even more important! These are the strange-looking symbols that appear next to words in dictionaries and tell you how to pronounce them. Diacritics allows you to quickly learn the sounds of different words, and help you make educated guesses if you don’t know how the spelling of a word is.
4- Get Help
Don’t worry if you have difficulty spelling a few words. Ask a trusted adult or friend to help with spelling. Scripps, the national spelling bee organization, suggests that you practice with either an adult or a friend. Remember that the spelling bee will be a performance. Practice allows you to practice the process before the competition.
5- Read a Lot of Great Books
You can read a lot of great books to expand your vocabulary. You will learn new words and how they can be used. In a spelling book, write down the most interesting words and those with the most difficult spellings. It is important to review it every now and again.
6- Keep Track of Words
Your weekly spelling words are what you should be learning. Keep track of all the words that you missed on tests and quizzes in your spelling book.
You can practice writing words by yourself so you don’t always need to include another person. You can also type them into a text file on the computer.
7- Basics of Spelling Rules
Learn the basics of spelling rules and strategies. Create a list with commonly used words and any exceptions to these rules.