Spelling Bee for Climbing Walls

Grade level: 1-6

Equipment:  laminated small letters of the alphabet, several sets, good size is about 1"x1".  Words spelled out on paper slips, small box or hat, tape.


Set up:  Create a series of words and print them out. Cut the words into strips and put them in a small box or hat.  Tape the letters to the wall in random order before class. 

Objective:  To spell out words by acquiring the letters taped up on the wall.

Description: Have your participants partner up.  Explain that each person will get a chance in both roles for the activity.  Have each participant draw a word out of a small box or from a hat.  Explain that the objective is for one person to climb while their partner helps the climber find the letters they need to spell out the word they drew.  After the first climber spells out their word and brings their pieces down, their partner gets a turn to climb.  The goal is to try to pull all of the letters for their word before stepping off of the wall.

Variation #1:  Have the partners slap out the letters of their word so that the letters stay on the wall.  This alleviates trying to get all of the letters back on the wall before the next class.

Rules/Safety/Accommodations: Students should follow basic climbing wall rules.

Facilitation/Reflection Questions:

1. How did you and your partner communicate during this activity?
2. How was your partner helpful for this activity?
3. Explain whether it was harder to climb or to give directions.
4. Complete this sentence: I really enjoyed today’s activity because…

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