ESL Spelling Games

Hidden Letter

Subject: Spelling


Skills: Listening, Speaking, Writing

Level: Elementary

Recommended Age: 12+

Participants Number: 4-10 players

Time: 20-25 minutes

Place: Classroom

Equipment: A black- or whiteboard

Materials: A piece of chalk or a marker.

Preliminary Preparation (5-10 minutes).

1. Think of a letter, e.g. 'R'.

2. Choose five words, containing this letter. In order to better 'hide' the letter, you should choose the words in such a way, that they contain as many the same letters as possible. Your list might look something like this:


 architect, cathedaral, daughter, theatre, weather.


Immediate Preparation (5-7 minutes).

1. If possible, arrange the game participants so that they are sitting or standing in a circle or a semi-circle.

2. Explain to the players that they are going to hear five words, containing the same letter, and they must guess it.

3. Read out your list of words to the students at normal speaking speed.

How to Play. A typical game might start something like this:

Player А: Is it 'T'?

You: No, it isn't.

Player B: Is it 'E'?

You: No, it isn't.

Player C: Is it 'H'?

You: No, it isn't.

Player D: Is it 'A'?

You: No, it isn't.

Player E: Is it 'R'?

You: Yes, it is.

As a result of the right answer, Player E gets one point. Then ask each students to think of another letter and to choose five words, containing it. Allow them a reasonable amount of time for completing this task. While the students are writing, circulate, monitor and assist, if necessary. When everyone is ready, Player A comes to the front of the others and reads out their list. This time, it is Player B, whose turn to make the first guess and so on. The game continues around the circle as long as all the 'hidden' letters have been revealed. At the end of the activity, the number of points, accumulated by each participant during the compatition, is counted up. The player, who gets the most points in total, becomes the winner of the game.