A spelling bee is one of the first contests a student can participate in. Spelling bees are a way to encourage school pride and bees teach children about competition. In order to play fairly and decide on a clear winner, you will need to conduct your spelling bee in an uncomplicated manner with clearly understood rules. Conduct your spelling bee in a well lit room with plenty of seating for waiting spellers and supporters.

Seat the spellers on the platform or at the front of the room facing the judges. Judges take their seats at the judging tables. The observer or observers stand off to the sides in the front of the room. The observer watches the crowd to discourage the giving of non verbal clues by onlookers.

Return contestants to their seats after a brief introduction. The on-stage monitor introduces the judges to the contestants and the audience. The head judge's job is to pronounce the words from a confidential list. The dictionary judge looks up the word to give meanings if requested and the recording judge records whether the answer is correct or not.

Allow the head judge to perform a reading of the rules. The head judge then asks if there are any questions. The audience should refrain from applauding until the end of the bee. If there are any questions, the judges will answer them. The spelling bee then commences.

Motion to the first contestant to step forward. This motion could be a hand movement or a vocal command.The head judge pronounces the word. The contestant repeats the word, spells it and then repeats the word again. The contestant may request a meaning from the dictionary judge before spelling.

Announce the ruling. The ruling judge gives the ruling of incorrect or correct. Incorrect spellers leave the stage and the round continues. At the end of the first round, the judges will officially announce the names of those who will continue. Rounds continue until there are just two spellers left.

Declare the winner. All the spellers return to the stage for a round of applause. Top spellers receive awards and recognition.

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  • Allow judges to have appropriate time to record and prepare in between each contestant.


  • Use a timer to set a time limit for spellers.

Things Needed

  • Head judge
  • Dictionary judge
  • Recording judge
  • On-stage monitor
  • Observer
  • Two microphones
  • Sound system
  • Tape recorder
  • Copies of the rules
  • Dictionary

About the Author

As a former senior sales director with Mary Kay and the co-owner of a renovation company, Monica Patrick has firsthand knowledge of small business operations. Besides start ups, she has extensive skills in recruiting, selling, leadership, makeup artistry and skin care.