A photograph of the semi-finalists in a spelling bee posing for a group photo.

Source: SPELLING BEE – SEMIFINAL - FAC – 12, Casa Thomas Jefferson, Flickr

You probably have heard the term “spelling bee.” No, it’s not a type of insect that drives you crazy; it’s a contest where people try to spell words aloud correctly to become a spelling bee champion. That’s a difficult task because many of us need to see a word before we can learn to spell it. Some people also find it easier to spot spelling errors in written work and then correct them.

Let’s read an article from the New York Times, “Skateboarding in Class? Here, It’s Called Gym,” about skateboarding as part of a high school curriculum. See if you can find the spelling errors. You should find a total of 13 spelling errors in Justin Porter’s article. (Hint: Two words are misspelled twice.)

Click on any words below that you think are spelled incorrectly. When you catch a misspelling, the correct spelling will appear. You may look up spellings of words in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, or you may use spell-check to help you. If you want to use spell-check for assistance, open a word processing program such as Microsoft Word on your computer, copy the text in the box below, and paste it into the word processing program. You should find 13 misspelled words. (Hint: Keep your spelling rules in mind and watch out for homophones.)

icon for an interactive exercise
A photograph of a young man competing in a spelling bee

Source: Spelling Bee Semifinal - MTZ - 2 2012, Casa Thomas Jefferson, Flickr

How did you do? Many of these words may look correct because we don’t always pronounce them correctly or because we forget when to double a consonant or drop a silent “e” at the end of a word.  In any case, you should correct these errors in your writing.