Spelling and Vocabulary-4-11 Words

This is a winner game for my students every time!  It covers three major skills.

First, students can practice a new spelling pattern.  Second, they can practice and solidify their understanding of new vocabulary.  Finally, writers get to practice expanding a sentence.

The challenge that entertains the children most is when they have to write a sentence with EXACTLY, 4, 5, 6…or 11 words in it.  This skill does not come easy and this game is a fun way to develop it!

Common Core State Standards

Note that this game can address the following Common Core State Standards:  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.K.1, L.K.1.E, L.K.1.F, L.K.2, L.K.2.A, L.K.2.B, L.1.1, L.1.1.D, L.1.1.G, L.1.1.H,  L.1.1.I, L.1.1.J, L.1.2, L.1.2.B, L.1.2.D, L.2.1, L.2.1.B, L.2.1.D, L.2.1.F, L.2.2, L.2.2.C, L.3.1, L.3.1.I, L.3.2, L.3.2.F, L.4.1, L.4.1.E, L.4.1.F, L.4.1.G, L.4.2, L.4.2.A, L.5.1, L.5.2, RF.K.1.C, RF.1.1.A

It covers a lot!

*This post contains affiliate links.  For more information, see my disclosures here.*

Magnetic Spinners

Magnetic spinners make this game active and fun.  Buying the spinners*  is very worth it!   You need two magnetic spinners to play.

(If you haven’t read my full post on the winner spinner, you won’t want to miss it!  It gives you a long list of game ideas that are so easy to run and super fun for the kids.  Check out the full post here.)

Don’t have a magnetic spinner?

I’ve included a contractions activity below the game instructions at the end of this post.  The contractions activity incorporates the concepts emphasized in this game.

Setting Up the Game

  1. First, draw two circles on the white board, (a chalk board or Smart Board can work also).
  2. Next, divide the first circle into 2, 3, 4, or 8 sections (according to the number of words you want the children to focus on).


Spelling Pattern or Vocabulary

3. Third, you’ll need to decide which spelling pattern OR vocabulary you want to work on and how many words you want the students to focus on.  Fill the first circle with those words.

For example, you can simply write the spelling words use and used in a two piece circle.

Or you can focus on the spelling words could, would and should.

An eight piece circle can be filled with irregular past verbs, contractions or a set of specific vocabulary words.

If you’re working on animal, biology, countries or Spanish vocabulary, the circle can be filled with those words.  The possibilities are endless!

Again, fill the first circle with the specific words that you want the children to practice.

4. Lastly, write the numbers 4-11 in the second circle.

Smaller Groups

For smaller groups (up to 8) I divide a large classroom whiteboard into 4 sections.  A pair is assigned to each section.

Larger Groups

For larger groups, or if you don’t have a classroom whiteboard, divide the group into pairs.  Give each pair a small white board, dry erase marker and a sock to serve as an eraser.  You can purchase a class pack on Amazon*.


Now to Play!

  1. First, a pair of campers spins the two spinners for the whole group.

2.  Next, one partner in each pair takes a turn writing a sentence using the spelling or vocabulary word that the spinner landed on and using the number of words spun to form the sentence.

For example, after the gumball machine writing lesson, we played this game using names of candy.

Campers spun the #5 and the word TWIX.  Here were some of their examples:


The sentences can be normal or super silly!

In order to earn a point, the spelling or vocabulary sentences have to have a capital letter, spacing, correct spelling and a period at the end.

3.  Third, as soon as a student completes the sentence, he or she doesn’t say anything.  They just hold up their white board.

4.  Next, you look at the sentence.  If there is one mistake, hold up 1 finger.  If there are 2 mistakes, 2 fingers, 3 mistakes, 3 fingers, 4 mistakes, 4 fingers.  When there are no mistakes, give the student a thumbs up so they can tally a point.  Students who have a mistake continue to correct the sentence until you give them a thumbs up.

Campers who get a thumbs up right away can continue to write more sentences, earning more points while they wait for every camper to finish their one sentence.

Once each pair has correctly written the sentence, then move onto the next turn.  Continue until each pair has had a turn to spin or  until the allotted runs out!

Print the Instructions

Here are the instructions for you to print out and use.

Here’s the CONTRACTIONS activity for you to print and use.


The words couldn’t, wouldn’t and shouldn’t in the Beach-Journal prompt

Fair vocabulary in the State Fair descriptive prompt

Candy Brands in the Gumball Machine instructions prompt

Gumball Machine
Image by Annalise Batista from Pixabay

The words use and used in the Chopsticks Vs. Forks and Knives prompt

Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

Ingredient words in the Reindeer Sandwich-Instructions prompt

The words Fossa and Lemur in the 3 Little Lemurs and the Big Bad Fossa prompt