‘Last letter, not me’ is based on the maths strategy game ’21’ – where pupils can count up to three consecutive numbers with the aim to them avoiding being the poor soul who utters the dreaded words ‘twenty-one’.
For the purposes of illustration, I am going to use the word ACCOMMODATE.
Begin by displaying the word on the board and check the pupils’ understanding of the word. Clarify its word type and model how we can put the word into context. The next step is to discuss any mnemonics or words with similar spelling patterns or rules. After such regular instruction, pupils will inevitably begin this stage of the investigation independently.
eg: Mnemonic for ACCOMMODATE = 2 Caravans and 2 Motels.
Similar spelling patterns = ACCOMPANIED; ACCORDINGLY; ACCUMSTOMED.
And so to the game itself. Pupils stand…
For the first two rounds keep the word displayed.
Pupils can say up to three consecutive letters at a time before the next person goes. The pupil who is lumbered with the last letter (E) is out. They must sit down with and reminisce of better times. So, a game would look (sound) something like this:
Pupil 1 – AC
Pupil 2 – COM
Pupil 3 – M
Pupil 4 – O
Pupil 5 – D
Pupil 6 – AT
Pupil 7 – E
Teacher – Pupil 7 who are eliminated. And repeat.
After two rounds of the word being displayed, the word is now hidden/removed and the game is played from memory. This time any hesitation (beyond a reasonable thinking time period) is punished by way of elimination.
Not only do the pupils secure their understanding of the spelling (yes, they do), they also begin devising tactics to keep their mates in and so on and so forth. It has been a smash hit with my class and given spelling greater kudos.
Following the game or in a subsequent lesson we also look at words from the same family and their word class:
ACCOMMODATED (verb – past tense)
Often we display these in a mindmap in one colour, synonyms in another colour, and where relevant antonyms in another colour.