I bought the Scrabble Alphabet Scoop game a few years ago, used it a few times and then it just sort of got lost in the back of the closet.
But I’ve been working on spelling with some students and I hunted it down to see if it would work for my current kiddos. With a couple of modifications, it’s been perfect!
The “Real” Way to Play: There’s a big soup pot of letter tiles, including several blanks (“wild”) and two orange flies (ick). Each player draws a card, decides which of the five words they plan to spell and then you’re off! Players scoop tiles with their ladle, sort the letters, take what they need and dump those they don’t back in the pot. Scooped a fly? All of your tiles go back in the pot, even those you had in your spelling line.
A Tailored Approach: The issue I was having is that the word choices either weren’t easy enough or hard enough or specifically targeting the rules we had addressed. I simply grabbed a dry erase board and we did some decoding, or maybe we tried a few sight words. Regardless, we both spelled the same word (there are plenty of tiles for this). Having me spell the same word also allowed me to make some “errors” that they would later correct.
The blank “wild” tiles are awesome since we had a chance to talk about what other word that spelling might represent. For instance, if our word was “bed” and they spelled “b-blank-d” we might talk about how that could also represent “bid” or bad.”
In short, there are lots of ways to work on manipulation of sound.
Advanced Tailoring: One of the tough aspects of commercial spelling games is the jump from super, super easy (in essence, strictly a matching task) to shockingly complex. For my advanced students, I can use the soup tiles for a free form Scrabble game (similar to Bananagrams). We’ll each take 15 tiles to start and spell words, allowing crossovers. We score 1 point/tile laid down, another point for each tile in a word you crossed and I give an extra five if you create a word that uses (and you verbalize) a spelling rule we’ve worked on. Feel like stacking (a la Upwords)? That’s ok with us too.
I get much more enthusiasm for spelling practice with these games. Anyone else used this before or care to add a variation?