Spelling Zappers Review: Effective Way to Learn Spelling?

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How to make spelling lessons more effective and interesting?

How can we ensure the words are being learned properly?

And how does Spelling Zappers help us in this field?

Spelling is an essential part of language learning, especially for beginner level students. They are naturally curious about everything and as a teacher, it is crucial to keep the curiosity alive. That is why teachers often look for interactive and effective methods to teach spelling. Spelling Zappers is one such method that has been proven to be one of the most effective ways for teaching spelling.

In this article, we will discuss-

  • What Spelling Zapper is and how it works
  • Effectiveness of the method
  • Scope of improvements etc.

So, let’s get started!


What is Spelling Zappers?

Spelling Zappers is a method of teaching spelling that involves competitiveness and rewarding. It is created by educationalist Anne Yeadon, an advisory teacher with profound experience in teacher training. She has qualifications on dyslexia and experimented on several sectors of the curriculum that are considered ‘boring’ yet crucial such as spelling, phonics, times tables etc. Her invention, the zapping method has been proven effective in many schools already and helpful to students with learning difficulties.


How Does It Work?

In simple words, a Spelling Zapper is a grid containing spelling words for your child to master. Usually, there are 9 grids. For example, consider this grid of 4th grade Spelling words (word source: SpellQuiz 4th Grade Spelling Words List 1)











You can customize the words according to your child’s need and they may take as much time as they want to master these words.

After successfully spelling a word for the first time, a ‘Z’ would be put in the top left corner of the grid.

Then, after spelling it correctly for the 2nd time, another ‘Z’ would be put in the top right corner.

After spelling the word 2 more times, 2 more ‘Z’ would be added in the corners. This means the student has mastered the spelling. So, a big ‘Z’ would be drawn across the grid. It is called Zapping. After getting the big ‘Z’, the student can say they have ‘zapped’ the word.

An Important thing to remember: This is a daily activity. So, only one ‘Z’ can be put on the grid in a day. They should practice daily to have all the ‘Z’ on the grid.

After each grid is zapped, a golden ‘Z’ is put across the whole zapper.

After zapping the whole grid, the student will be given another set of spelling words.


How Effective Is the Method?

The method has been experimented with in several schools that were looking for a new and effective way to teach spelling. The experiment was done on almost 160 students from Y3 and Y6. The trial period was five months. The result was quite promising.

On average, the Y3 students advanced a year over the trial period and the Y6 students were able to advance two years. They showed more enthusiasm about spelling which resulted in advancing in such speed. As a side experiment, Y6 students were told to teach the Y3 students about zappers which showed splendid student involvement.

Spelling Zappers mainly motivates students to master the words as quickly as possible by rewarding them at the end. Students give extra effort to earn the stickers and certificates. Even students with learning difficulties try their best to speed up their progress which is why this method works impressively for dyslexic students.

However, you can’t learn about spelling variations here. 

What Is in The Resource Pack?

The resource pack costs £22.50 (Now available at £20.00 for a limited time) and can be bought on the Spelling Zappers Website. The pack is in an electronic format that includes printable contents to use in the classroom. It is delivered immediately to the buyer after payment via email.

The resource pack includes-

  • Full Instruction Manual including step guidance and tips
  • PowerPoint Presentation to train the staff
  • Zapper sets. The sets have different themes and are available in both colors and Black and white outlines.
    Themes include wizard, unicorn, space, robot, jungle, dinosaur, frog, super frog, dolphin, footballer, and skateboarder
  • Blank Zapper to personalize
  • Zappers for staff training- available with words and blank
  • Colored spelling strategies poster. The resource pack utilizes 4 strategies:
    • S- Syllables
    • S.- Silly Sentences
    • I. S.- Say It Silly
    • W. W.- Words Within Words
  • Certificates
    • Rank: Gold, Silver and Bronze
    • Color: Color, Black and White
    • Size: A4, A5 and A6
    • Spelling Zappers Grid
    • Spelling Record Mat
    • Printable Sticker Sets
      • Size: 297mm x 210mm


Spelling Zappers Templates

As the grids are customizable, you can make your own spelling zappers to use in the classroom. But you also need to make sure that the words used in the grids are suitable for the level of your student. Here are some Spelling Zappers Templates to help you get an idea:

Spelling Zappers For Grade 3:











Spelling Zappers for Grade 4:











Spelling Zappers for Grade 5:











Spelling Zappers for Grade 6:











This method can be used for students at higher grades also, even for adults and ESL students. You can find more words in the SpellQuiz Word List. The spelling words are divided by grades, so you don’t have to worry about the level of your students. There are multiple lists of spelling words for each grade that can be used throughout the years.


Scope of Improvement

Spelling Strategies

One thing is evident that the method is mainly popular for the zapping technique. Though the resource pack contains guidance on 4 spelling strategies, they are effective on a basic level and advanced level students might need more in-depth learning. Multi-sensory approaches are encouraged but there is no specific instruction about it.

Spelling Zappers mainly depends on the techniques teachers apply in their classrooms to teach spelling. It might be a good indicator of how effective your spelling strategy is, but it cannot be considered a complete spelling program on its own. Teachers still need to research which spelling strategies will be appropriate for the students.

Interested in new spelling strategies? Check out SpellQuiz Spelling Blogs to find out about fun, interactive, and interesting spelling activities to include in your spelling lessons.

Also, think about spelling mnemonics — Spelling Zappers don’t teach or talk about examples of spelling mnemonics


Subscription Pack

There is only one Spelling Zapper Resource Pack available which is designed for use in school. The whole package is in an electronic format that can be printed later to distribute among the students.

Clients are naturally more driven to sites that offer multiple package options designed for different types of customers. It also enables different pricing options so that the customer can choose a pack best suited for them.


No Freemium Features

Products such as spelling packages should not be bought just by reading reviews. As a responsible teacher or a parent, you need to ensure that these products will be able to fulfill your child’s needs which is why freemium features are a must.

A customer should be able to understand what the product is offering before deciding to buy. Allowing access to resources for a limited time or offering sample products helps the customers be interested in the products. It also improves trustworthiness and reliability.


Spelling Zappers vs SpellQuiz

Spelling Tests

SpellQuiz Spelling Test is an online test to evaluate the spelling skill of a student. The student will listen to a sentence and need to write the whole sentence correctly. This improves their phonic skill and pronunciation along with their spelling skill.

The tests are divided into grades and available for adults. The audio clips are recorded by professional artists so that the students don’t face any difficulty understanding the sound.


Spelling Bee Online

SpellQuiz hosts a Spelling Bee Online Competition where students around the world compete against each other. Your child can present themselves in front of the world which will boost their confidence and motivate them to be more serious about learning spelling.



Like Spelling Zappers, SpellQuiz also offers certifications for students. There are ranks for daily, weekly, monthly, and all-time top spellers. There is also a dashboard for each student that shows how many words they have mastered over a period. This way, the student can monitor their progress with more clarity.


Multiple Subscription Packages Including 14 Days Trial Period

SpellQuiz offers multiple subscription packages designed for both parents and teachers. The packages for parents are specially designed to be used at home. The packages available for teachers also varies depending on the number of students. There is also an option to add students later in a subscription.

The subscription is offered on a monthly and yearly basis, but you don’t need to decide which one to buy right away. SpellQuiz offers 14 days trial period for every customer where they can explore all the features SpellQuiz has to offer. You can also monitor your child’s or student’s progress through the dashboard for 14 days and decide if this is working for them or not.

You can learn more about the pricing at SpellQuiz Subscription Packages.


And this is not all. It offers Adaptive Learning that enables students to advance at their own pace without pressurizing them. This way, students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties can improve their skills without being overwhelmed.

As you can see, SpellQuiz has a lot of features that involve multi-sensory learning and evaluation. It is more promising than most other spelling programs available on the market. Why don’t you give it a try?

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