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I spy Spartacus


Ages 11 to 14

Despite being well-mannered and keen to learn more about Roman history, one particular class struggled with spelling. More had to be done besides highlighting key words on the board and information sheets.

I asked pupils if they would like to play hangman and received an enormous class groan. "Well, what game would you like to play?" I asked. "Please Miss, can we play I Spy?" So I developed a game that my class named Spelling I Spy.

At the end of the lesson, I give a volunteer a list of the key words from that session. The volunteer suggests one of the key words. For example, if the word is Roman, the volunteer says, "I spy with my little eye a word beginning with r". To win, pupils must spell their answers correctly and the volunteer checks spellings using the key word card. Pupils who need to write down their spellings can do so on whiteboards or paper.

To my delight, Spelling I Spy has become highly requested by my Year 7 and 8 pupils. I passed this idea to a colleague and she has found it successful and was told by one parent, "We have to play Spelling I Spy all the time now - it's great the way you take a traditional idea and bring it up to date."

Adele Taylor teaches key stages 3 and 4 history and RE at Ladybridge High School in Bolton.

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