Seventeen students in grades four through six lined up in the North Cavan Public School gymnasium last week to show off their spelling skills to all of the staff and students at the school. These students had prepared for the challenge, working on word lists with a teacher the previous week. Despite autofill technology and popular abbreviations used on social media, these students demonstrated that spelling is not a lost art.
Speed of response was not always a good indication of proficiency, as some of the slower responses indicated caution rather than a lack of ability. During moments of hesitation, almost all participants used visualization techniques, pausing to write the words out in their palm with their fingers. As the competition progressed, it was clear the good spellers had a system for working out the word construction, as they were able to spell words that they had certainly never used before. Words like prosaic, expunge, archaic, obfuscate and erudite were spelled without a hitch and had adults in the audience were googling their online dictionaries.
The competition was complete when there were two spellers still standing. Grade six student Ainsley Dreossi and Grade four student Hannah Schad move on to compete in the local Rotary Competition which takes place on May 12th. Good luck! KG