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!
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