Hi! It’s Wednesday, October 2, 2013 and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!
Merriam Webster: Spell It!
Age Range: 6-16 (approximately, with parental supervision)
I’ve always maintained that some people are born with a “spelling gene.” Interestingly, current brain research supports the idea that some brains are hard-wired for spelling. They just “get it”. For that segment of the population, spelling is fun! It’s a joy! Words and their root forms and origins are fascinating.
For students of all ages who excel at spelling, this website (sponsored by the Scripps National Spelling Bee in cooperation with Merriam-Webster) offers free spelling exercises that are interesting and challenging. It’s a little slice of heaven for those with spelling in their DNA. When you get to the website, you’ll see a brief introduction and a menu titled “Words From” that include:
- Asian Languages
- Slavic Languages
- Old English
- New World Languages
Click on any one and a new page opens with a brief explanation and a list of “Study Words.” Click on a “study word” and a new page opens in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary with audio pronunciations. You’ll find the word’s function (part of speech), etymology, definition, and synonyms.
Some words have a “dialog bubble” that contains a spelling tip for that word. Click on “Challenge Words” to find an assortment of more difficult spelling words. Click on “Now You Try” to participate in an interactive exercise to challenge your knowledge of words, parts of words, word roots, and knowledge of spelling rules and exceptions. Wordsmiths and spellers will gleefully spend hours here testing their skills. There is a function that allows you to print out the spelling words to practice offline too.
Back on the home page, you’ll also see “Words You Need to Know.” As explained at the website, “These words appear frequently in student essays, and every writer should become familiar with them. You should also study these words to prepare for classroom bees.”
This site’s main purpose is to provide visitors with the official list of study words for the 2010 spelling bees. However, it stands alone as a terrific and challenging educational tool for those who love words and spelling.