DIY Whack-A-Word Spelling Game for Your Classroom

Pretty much the most fun your students will have while practicing spelling!

Smartboards and projectors should be engaging! This is the philosophy of first grade teacher, Autumn Morrison, so she set out to create a spelling game to meet those needs.

“What is more engaging than using a foam mallet to whack things?” Autumn says. “The kids love the opportunity to trade in pencils and paper for mallets and moles.”

To make this happen, Autumn first found adorable clip art moles. Then she created kid-friendly (and teacher-approved) mallets using pool noodles and pencils.

“School cannot be boring when you are whacking things with a foam mallet,” she says. “It just isn’t possible. We have Whack-a-Word Wednesday every week in my class.”

Autumn uses different PowerPoint presentations to practice spelling, sight words, and more. She has a Teachers Pay Teachers store where you can pick up her different designs. (She will have a line of math games coming out soon too.) She’s also making one FREE available to WeAreTeachers right here!


Download Autumn’s Whack-A-Word Sight Words PDF and also the PowerPoint presentation to use in your own classroom.

What you need

  • Pool noodles
  • Pencils
  • Whack-A-Word mats

What to do

Step 1

Cut pool noodles into mallet shapes. Around six-inch lengths work really well.

Step 2

Push sharpened pencils through the bottom of the pool noodles as pictured in the video.

Step 3

Turn your mallet so it’s in prime whacking position, and then it’s go time.

Teacher Tip

Don’t hand out the mallets until it’s whacking time! You can control the lesson by having students follow your PowerPoint presentation. You can even have the presentation autoplay and walk the room to monitor!

Check out our video on how this all came together! And don’t forget to check out Autumn’s Teachers Pay Teachers or download the FREE PDF and also the PowerPoint presentation of sight words!