Spelling Bee Practice Tips

bee inside the letters SPELLINGSpelling bee practice gives students confidence for the big competition. It also helps kids to build spelling skills from which they can benefit all year long!  

What are some of the best practice ideas for individual students? Here are the ones we like best, arranged in two categories:

Individual Spelling Bee Practice Ideas

Printable version of Spelling Bee Practice Ideas

Long term - What you should do all year long

We have lots of spelling bee words you can study, too!
1) Read a lot of good books and expand your vocabulary. You'll learn new words and how to use them. Write down the most interesting words, and the ones with the trickiest spellings in a spelling notebook. Review it from time to time.

2) Learn your weekly spelling words. Keep a list of the words you miss on quizzes and tests in your spelling notebook.

finger3) Learn your best spelling bee style.  How do you prepare to spell a word aloud? Are you most successful if you
  • trace it with your finger
  • say it to yourself
  • or picture it in your mind?
Figure this out in advance. Then once a week, have a friend or family member ask you to spell a few words aloud, spelling bee style. Get comfortable with spelling tricky words in front of other people.

4) Practice writing words on your own so that you don't always have to involve another person. Or type them into a text document on the computer.

5) Learn basic spelling strategies and rules Make a list of commonly-used words that are exceptions to these rules.

6) Read  How to Spell Like a Champ by Trinkle, Andrews and Kimble, three people closely associated with the Scripps National Spelling Bee. If you can't find it at your library, click the title link to view the book at Amazon.) The book contains lists of tricky words, spelling bee practice strategies, fun quizzes and more.

7) If you're really serious about advancing to regional, state or national competitions, you need to get a good dictionary and study it.  (See the information to the right and/or visit my dictionary store.)

Short term - What you can do just weeks or days before the Bee

1) Find out the date of the spelling bee. Ask your teacher if there is a specific list of words you can study. (Hopefully you'll already know many of these words from following the steps above.) Then study!

2) Practice a lot of words aloud with a friend or family member. (See our spelling bee word lists if you don't have a word list from your teacher. ) Practice the words from your spelling notebook.

yellow sticky notes3) Post spelling words everywhere: the bathroom mirror, your computer desktop, your school desk or locker. Carry a list of words you want to learn in your pocket. You can pull it out to study when you have spare minutes between other activities.

4) Ask someone to quiz you on words you haven't studied. A good place to find words that might be in the spelling bee is on the front page of a newspaper.

5) The night before the spelling bee, get plenty of rest. Eat a good breakfast in the morning. Include some protein, such as eggs, cheese or peanut butter.  

Most Importantly...

Believe you can do it! All of your spelling bee practice
will give you confidence to think clearly and spell correctly,
despite the butterflies in your stomach.

Did you know?

Websters Third New International Dictionary The official dictionary used by Scripps is the Third New International Dictionary of the English Language.

It is the largest dictionary of the English language, making it the perfect one to study if you're really serious about advancing in spelling bee competitions. It weighs 12.5 pounds and contains over 450,000 entries!  

It also comes on  CD-Rom. Use this Amazon link:
Third Websters New International Dictionary, Unabridged(CD-ROM 3.0 version)

Studying a good dictionary
is one of the very best spelling bee practice methods!

Go to our Spelling Bee HQ page

Go to Spelling Bee Word List page

Go to Spelling Words Well home page


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