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Name the Game – The Main Idea

Name the Game

Name the Game


VocabularySpellingCity is running a pretty clever contest right now. They are asking for help naming a new game.  And to make it clearly educational, they have published a lesson plan so that you can help your kids think through the question in naming the game of: “What is the Main Idea?”

Look, the idea of the main idea is core higher order thinking skill. What is the essay about? What is this play about?  What is he talking about?  The first step in naming the game is finding the essence of the game.

The second step is finding the catchiest way to express it. Like a headline, advertisement, or other clever use of words, it’s a particular challenge to pen a catchy pithy compelling title. Do your kids have what it takes? It’s not really a gift, it’s a learned skill.  So step right up, try out their new game, and see if you or your kids can name.  The prize is both the glory (a certificate) and free annual membership!

So, click through to play and then try to figure out a pithy catchy way to express the game’s main idea:  Name the Game!


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Does your family use VocabularySpellingCity.com yet? If not, you should! It makes word study- spelling, vocabulary, and writing – fun for kids. It simplifies teaching with automated grading and progress tracking.

VocabularySpellingCity provides 25 learning games and activities, many of which are printable. These games can be used with any word list.

How does it work? Just register for a free account to begin saving word lists that your students can use to take tests or play learning games. We offer over 45,000 words featuring 60,000 definitions, plus sentences read in a human voice.

Our Vocabulary Teaching Resources section includes Language Arts lesson plans, useful word lists (like academic vocabulary lists and literature-based word lists), articles and more!

Check out SpellingCity
Check out SpellingCity.com
What makes VocabularySpellingCity.com so popular?

  • The convenience – Once you start using it, you’ll wish you had discovered it sooner. It’s great for homeschool portfolios and record-keeping. For students in school, word study with SpellingCity leads to improved spelling and vocabulary skills and higher grades.
  • Breadth of use – You can save your own word lists or use those available through Teaching Resources. There are 25 different learning games and activities, including spelling, vocabulary, writing, and language arts.
  • Human voice – Students hear each word spoken clearly, which is great for pronunciation.
  • Definitions and context-rich sentences – Each word includes a definition and is used in a context-rich sentence to reinforce meaning.
  • It’s affordable – An annual family membership is only $29.99 (for up to 5 kids). Many families start with the free option, but soon upgrade to access Premium learning games (including vocabulary and writing activities), get automated student progress tracking, and eliminate commercial advertising on the site.

SpellingCity was launched in 2008 primarily as a spelling practice site of interest to elementary students. Since then, it’s been transformed into VocabularySpellingCity and is becoming increasingly popular with middle and high school students. The site has received numerous educational awards and endorsements. An iPad app is available and an Android app will be available in spring 2013.

Check out these resources:

I expect VocabularySpellingCity.com will earn a spot as one of your favorite sites. Visit the site and see for yourself why more than one million teachers and parents worldwide have become members of VocabularySpellingCity!

John Edelson, founder Time4Learning


The importance of spelling

I have helped to create the SpellingCity.com website which has become a mainstay of many tens or even hundreds of thousands of students. Sometimes, I’m asked to explain why I think spelling is important.  Here’s  a draft of my rationale for answering this question.   I write this aware that as I type, the computer is prompting me whenever I type in a word that is not properly spelt and where most writing is done on keyboards with built-in spelling support. 

1. Reading:  Learning phonics is dramatically helped by focusing not just on “decoding” but also spelling skills or encoding.

2. Writing: While you can tell students to  “not worry about spelling, to just focus on writing”,”  that is contrary to many human’s nature. Nobody wants to sound stupid. And bad spelling makes us sound stupid. So it’s natural to think about spelling while you are trying to compose an essay. If you are a bad speller, the cognitive overhead of thinking about spelling distracts the student from writing.

3. Vocabulary skills. Spelling lists are the natural means to focus on word roots, suffixes, and prefixxes. 

4. Grammar. Subject verb  agreement, getting the plural and possessives right, and working with the past, present, and present tense….alll done with spelling.

 SpellingCity has two articles that deal with these questions:

  • The Importance of Spelling