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Spelling Practice Tic Tac Toe – Free Printable

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This free no-prep printable spelling practice tic tac toe board is an entertaining and engaging game for students in grades 1-4 to practice their vocabulary words! Get your spelling lists and get started!

Graphic with the spelling practice tic tac toe board on a green background.
Scroll to download this printable FREE!

Why We Love It

There’s nothing we like more than making learning fun! And traditionally, vocabulary and spelling practice can be a little repetitive and tiresome.

But when you gamify the experience, it becomes something totally new and exciting, not to mention helps to improve retention and motivation.

Our students love the fun writing activities in the tic-tac-toe game, so much so that they don’t even seem to notice the spelling practice and repetition involved! Suddenly, spelling is fun!

Playing with a partner, kids will practice phoneme counting, orthographic mapping, rime, phoneme replacement, and more!

👉 You can use this activity alongside any vocabulary list with a focused phonics skill, or use our lists of High Frequency Words, R Controlled Vowel Words, or Silent E Words.

If you are trying to teach words with irregular spelling, use the heart word method which specifically teaches the irregular parts of the word that need to be memorized by heart.

The printed spelling practice tic tac toe board surrounded by crayons and game markers.

How to Play

Step 1: Partner two students together. Choose one word to practice for each round.
Step 2: Students take turns choosing a box on the board, then completing the task written inside using the vocabulary word. Once the task is completed, they mark the box with their marker.
Step 3: Whoever gets three boxes in a row first, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, is the winner. Mark who wins in the boxes.
Step 4: Repeat with the next word until all the words on the list are completed.

The spelling tasks include:

  • Write the word in a silly sentence.
  • Tap and count the phonemes in the word.
  • Rainbow spell the word with different colors for each grapheme. You could also have kids color the vowels/vowel teams/diphthongs one color and consonants another color.
  • Write the word with one grapheme changed.
  • Map the words using the Elkonin boxes.
  • Write the word, then come up with 3 words that rhyme with it.
  • Write the word in the air with your finger.
  • Write the word three times, saying the letters out loud as you write them.
  • Write the word in the shape of a pyramid. Write the first grapheme, then the first two graphemes, then the first three graphemes, and continue in this pattern until the word is written.

Tips & FAQ

  • What you need: Each student needs game markers, dry erase markers, and the vocabulary words to practice.
  • Take turns: Partners can alternate who goes first each round, or if you’re playing in a large classroom activity, have the winner move on to a new partner after each round so they rotate partners as each new word is played.
  • Extend the fun: We recommend printing on cardstock and/or laminating the paper so you can use the board time and time again.

Related Resources

Graphic showing Roll-and-Read sound box worksheet.
Get our popular Roll-and-Read Sound Boxes resource!

Download & Print

We’d love to hear about your experience using this resource!
Please leave a comment below or tag us on Instagram @literacylearn.

DOWNLOAD TERMS: All of our resources and printables are designed for personal use only in homes and classrooms. Each teacher must download his or her own copy. To share with others, please use the social share links provided or distribute the link to the blog post so others can download their own copies. Please do not save our files to a shared drive, reproduce our resources on the web, or make photocopies for anyone besides your own students. Your support in this allows us to keep making free resources for everyone! Please see our Creative Credits page for information about the licensed clipart we use. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our terms, please email us. Thank you!


  1. I’m a literacy tutor. I made a game board with the trick words I’m focusing on for whatever Fundations unit we are working on (K-2). Then I printed out this tic-tac-toe sheet, and I cut out the ghost writing (their favorite by far), write in all caps, write as small as you can, sky write (we put on plastic witches fingers to sky write), rainbow write, and write with your eyes closed. I put the cutout squares in a dice with plastic insertable sides. We spin a spinner, move on the game board, read the trick word, and spell it aloud. Then they roll the dice, and everyone writes the word based on what came up on the dice. They LOVE this!! No one can wait for game day, and they are finally getting much better at writing their trick words correctly now. Thanks so much for this!!

    1. Hi Treva,
      Thank you for sharing this with us! We are so happy to hear your students are engaged in spelling and learning their trick words. How exciting!!!
      Katie and Laura

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