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The Buzz on Spelling Bees

Love 'em or hate 'em, spelling bees are one of the biggest academic events in school. Get the 411 on the spelling bee here - who knows, maybe you'll be the next spelling bee champ!

Spelling Bees - To Bee or Not to Bee

A spelling bee is a competition held in rounds to see which kids can correctly spell words. The rule of the game is pretty simple - when it's your turn, the judge says a word and you have to spell it. If you spell it right, you stay in the game, but if you spell it wrong, you're out. Sounds easy enough, right? Well not exactly cuz the words you have to spell are really, really hard English words like trapanasomiasis and cephalalgia! Competitions start at the local level in schools. Once the top spellers are narrowed down, they get to go to the nation's capital of Washington, DC to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Spelling bees are only open to students who are under 16 and haven't yet passed the 8th grade. If ya want to be the bee champion, just sign up for your school's spelling bee! The next Scripps National Spelling Bee will be held on May 28th and 29th, 2008.

Spelling Bees - Studying for the Bee

Spelling is considered to be a pretty dull subject. So the spelling bee was created to give students an interesting way to learn how to spell and increase their vocabulary. Studying for spelling bees takes time and effort, so you'll have to put away your rollerblades and Xbox - at least for a little while. Some of the best ways to study is to spell all the words in the dictionary, surf the net for difficult words of the week, or download the Audio Paideia. It's a recording of the dude who pronounces the words at the national spelling bee. He'll also give you a brief definition of each word. You can test yourself by spelling the word as if you were really competing!

Spelling Bees - The Bee's Knees

Now comes the best part - the prizes! Winning a school spelling bee probably won't give you much more than a blue ribbon, but winning on the national level is huge! Cash prizes range from $50 (for those who get eliminated by the third round) up to $6,000 for the second place winner. The champion bee wins $28,000 in cash, scholarship and savings bonds, as well as a set of encyclopedias. Katharine Close from New Jersey became the 2006 champ after correctly spelling the word, Ursprache, which is a language that is the common ancestor of a set of related languages. Nice work Katharine!

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