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What are the best techniques for children and adults to improve spelling? Reading naturally improves spelling, and is considered the best strategy because the words in a story are absorbed within its context as they are associated with the print on the pages. Perhaps a weekly game of Scrabble, or Scrabble club, would benefit groups of students seeking to improve their spelling skills, in tandem with school spelling bee’s that focus on a word’s origin to help contestants arrive at the correct spelling.

Experienced Scrabble players view the game as more than having an expansive vocabulary. Players are challenged to find words in a jumble of letters, and that takes skill that changes the way you use your brain. In an article written by George Dvorsky, Neuroscience, titled Playing Scrabble Changes the Way You Use Your Brain, “… Here’s how the researchers described the finding in their study: ‘Results showed that when engaged in the lexical decision task (LDT), Scrabble experts made use of brain regions not generally associated with meaning retrieval in visual word recognition, but rather those associated with working memory and visual perception. The analysis of resting-state data also showed group differences, such that a different network of brain regions was associated with higher levels of Scrabble-related skill in experts than in controls [i.e. non-Scrabble players]…’”

Notwithstanding, schools are encouraged to participate in The National School Scrabble Championship, organized each year with more than 100 teams of students from all over the U.S. and Canada where students gather to pull from obscure words from their individual “schema-dictionaries” in a competition for cash prizes. The official tournament, and club word list consist of 187,632 words! Nonetheless, for people who are conscientious with correctly spelling words, the Scrabble board game designed by Alfred Mosher Butts in 1933 has become a cultural icon in America. Conversely, the game is sold in 121 countries with 29 different language versions.

Inspirational spelling bee ideas are remembered in a popular movie, Akeelah and the Bee, where an 11-year-old girl living in South Los Angeles, discovered she had a talent for spelling. Accordingly, despite her mother’s objections, Akeelah doesn’t give up on her goal of competing in the National Spelling Bee. Moreover, the game of Scrabble was played by a group of children at a birthday party in a scene commonly depicted as Akeelah and the Bee Scrabble Showdown, whereabouts the seriousness of grade school spelling bee champions’ vocabulary is exemplified with serious competitiveness.

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