Over the last couple days, I have been on a real spelling kick. Today, I will continue on that kick as I show you a spelling game my students like to play. Part of the idea behind Words Their Way and the Bear Spelling Assessment is that people make sense of the world by sorting things into categories. So, why not do that for spelling as well. This actually makes a lot of sense for people with autism as well since they tend to be very rule governed and visual learners. To make categories when working on short vowels, we do word sorts. I don't have any pictures of my kids doing word sorts on my home computer, but this is kind of what they would look like. For instance, for sorting "a" and "i" short vowels, one row of words could be (bat, sat, nap, tan) and the other row would be (bit, sip, win, rib).
This is what the game looks like when the students get it (and how it should look when they clean it up). All the pieces are stored in a snack size baggie and velcroed to the bottom of the game board. Each student gets their own board in this game. They can either work independently on their words or you can make it into a competition.
Next, students take out enough cards to fill the game board and place the cards picture side up.
Then, the student rolls the die. (I put white out on regular dice and wrote vowels with permanent markers on each side). The student has to find a word with the same short vowel sound. For instance, in the picture below, I rolled an "O" and found the word "mop."
Once the word is found, students take it and put it into the rectangle labeled "points."
At this point, you could play the game two different ways. For the first way, you could continue rolling the die until all the cards are gone. However, we usually play that students reach back into the bag and replace the word they just found. To make this game more competitive, I set a timer for 5 minutes and have students compete against each other to see who can earn the most points (each student has their own board). The great thing about this game is that since students all have their own board, you could have each kid working on their own targeted spelling skills (you would just need different pictures/dice for each board).
Also, to help students double check their work, I have some sets of pictures that have the written words on the back. This can also be used for a more beginning reader. Click here to get a free copy of the blank game board and blank game pieces (you can just cut and glue whatever words you are working for onto the blank pieces).