Spelling Bee Home Page


We refer to and have adapted rules from the “Scripps Spelling bee suggested rules” .

  • Students will be called one at a time to the microphone. A word will be announced for the student to spell. An example sentence using the word in context will also be given.
  • The student must first say the word out loud, then spell the word clearly, and then say the word again. For example, if the word “school” is given, the student must say, “Bee. B-E-E, Bee.”.  By first repeating the word, the student lets the judges know he/she correctly heard the word.  Then by repeating the word again at the end, the student indicates he/she is finished.
  • No outside help from other students or audience members is allowed. The student on stage must spell the word entirely on his/her own. While a student is on stage, all other students and audience members are expected to maintain complete and total silence. In addition, audience members should refrain from any indication that the student has made an error.  This might give the student an unfair advantage.  Judges reserve the right to ask parents to move out of the line of site of their student or to leave the gymnasium if necessary.
  • There is a time limit of one minute from the moment the word is announced for the student to finish spelling the word.
  • In a spelling round, the speller makes an effort to face the judges and pronounce the word for the judges before spelling it and after spelling it. The speller makes an effort to pronounce each letter distinctly and with sufficient volume to be understood by the judges. The speller may ask the pronouncer to say the word again, define it, use it in a sentence, provide the part of speech, provide the language(s) of origin, and/or provide an alternate pronunciation or pronunciations as listed on the pronouncer’s competition list. The speller does not need to note capitalization of a word, presence of diacritical marks, presence of hyphens or other forms of punctuation, or spacing between words in an open compound. To be judged as correct and move on to the next round, the speller must provide the correct letters in the correct order.
  • Errors: Upon providing an incorrect spelling of a word or an incorrect answer to a word meaning question, the speller is immediately disqualified from the competition, except for the end of be championship word round.
  • If only one speller in a round spells correctly or answers a word meaning question correctly: If only one speller spells correctly or answers a word meaning question correctly in a round, a new spelling round begins and the speller is given an opportunity to spell a word on the list (anticipated championship word). If the speller succeeds in correctly spelling the anticipated championship word in this round, the speller is declared the champion.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: If a speller misspells the anticipated championship word in a one-word round: A new spelling round begins with ALL the spellers who participated in the previous round. These spellers spell in their original order. 
  • 1st-grade students who are nervous may be accompanied onto the stage by an adult. However, the adult may not help the child spell the word.
  • If a student spells his/her word correctly, he/she advances to the next round. If a student spells his/her word incorrectly, he/she is eliminated from the spelling bee.  However, everyone walks away with a friendly round of applause and a medal. 
  • Words will progressively get more challenging from one round to the next.
  • If a student feels an alternate spelling exists for a word, they may appeal to the judges. The chair will consult Webster’s Third New International Dictionary and its addenda section, copyright 2002, Merriam Webster for the final decision.  If the speller’s spelling is listed in the named dictionary, the speller will be invited back if all the following is met: 1) the pronunciations of the words are identical, 2) the definitions of the words are identical and 3) the words are clearly identified as being standard variants of each other.  This year’s study guides include variants to allow for these choices.  (Example:  theater or theatre).


  • The spelling bee is intended to be a fun and friendly contest, and it is our hope that every student will walk away feeling proud to have participated. However, when a student is eliminated from the contest, it is natural to feel some disappointment. For kids who take disappointment especially hard, it may help to understand that there is an element of luck involved in a spelling bee. We have worked hard to ensure fairness by giving words of the same difficulty level in any given round. However, which specific word each student gets on his/her turn is unavoidably a matter of luck.
  • Students should learn the study words for their grade level obtained by clicking on Study Lists. 

Tips for Success from Scripps Site

  1. For inspiration, watch the documentary Spellbound on family movie night.
  2. Keep a "great words" journal for every new and interesting word that you find. 
  3. Designate a spelling wall in your home. Post new words to the wall each day. 
  4. For family game night, conduct an impromptu-themed spelling bee. Use a newspaper for a current events bee or a cookbook for a cuisine bee. 
  5. Do like Akeelah did. Spell and jump rope!
  6. Ask friends and neighbors to challenge you with great spelling words. 
  7. Find a good luck charm—perhaps shoelaces with a bumblebee design or a 
  8. Find your study words on the pages of great stories. Every year, the Bee curates the Great Words, Great Works book list, a selection of 27 titles chosen for their rich vocabulary and engaging content. You can read all 450 words on the School Spelling bee study list in the context of these great books! Get the book list!
  9. Word club app. This year, the Bee's premier study tool is completely free for your students. Encourage your parents to download the app and allow students to learn their study words through spelling games and quizzes.