Spelling Bee for Dummies

Spelling Bee

Always refrain from referring to your teens as dummies. Unless, of course, you want them to join a spelling bee. Then they think it’s pretty funny.

Maybe it’s the awesomeness of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Seriously, how do they make spelling so exciting? Or maybe we just thought a library spelling bee would go over well.

Whatever possessed us, we wanted to get people involved. We called it Spelling Bee for Dummies so people couldn’t say, “I can’t spell,” because then we could just say “Well, it’s for dummies!”

To take the strain off more we put them on teams and made it clear that each round would get harder. They then picked their spellers accordingly.

Each round had a different theme and they could spell 1, 2, or 3 point words. 1 point words came from 4th grade spelling lists, 2 from 5th grade, and 3 from 6th grade.

The first round had them just spelling one word. The second round was a double points round, but they had to spell their word in reverse. And the third was a lightning round, where they tried to spell as many words as they could in 1 minute (if they spelled 3 3-point words correctly, they received 9 points.) The final round was set-up like final Jeopardy, where they wagered the points they’d earned in earlier rounds. They had to spell one word, but these words were from 9th grade spelling lists.

There could be other variations to this too. Like a Tag-Team round where the spellers could tag their partner if they didn’t know a word. Or a “Phone-A-Friend” lifeline that could be used to have someone get the spellers started.

It turned out to be a fun time for all the contestants. We even had a rowdy group of spectators.


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