Word Mania, based on a digital word building game, is the biggest literacy competition in Australia. Last year teachers at 2,000 schools integrated it into their classrooms, and more than 260,000 students from Years 1 to 9 spent the equivalent of 16 years practising their literacy skills during the competition.
This year LiteracyPlanet expects at least 350,000 students from 3,500 schools to participate.
Word building involves various literacy skills including phonics, word families, affixes, spelling, vocabulary, word recognition and word knowledge.
According to LiteracyPlanet CEO Adam McArthur, the free competition is so popular because it’s a fun and easy way to engage students of all ages and abilities in spending more time developing their literacy skills.
“Word Mania gets students excited about literacy, and motivates them to spend hours of extra time practising their literacy skills. Every year, more and more schools discover the Word Mania competition and students of all ages love being involved.”
He said the popularity of the competition also reflects the increasing use of digital resources in classrooms, and how effective they can be in improving learning outcomes.
“Kids really enjoy using digital technologies to learn. We definitely see in the data that the more students ‘play’ Word Mania, those literacy skills rapidly improve.
“We also get a lot of feedback from teachers about the positive social interaction it generates, with students collaborating, competing against each other, and supporting and encouraging each other to do better.”
Word Mania is offering more than $350,000 in prizes for schools, and LiteracyPlanet has also pledged to donate $50 for every million words built to its charity partner, the Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation. Funds raised will go towards literacy programs for marginalised, refugee and Indigenous children across Australia.
How to register:
Word Mania 2017 is free, and open to Years 1 to 9. Schools that use LiteracyPlanet have automatic access and can contact 1300 565 696 to arrange extra logins for students who do not use the program. Other schools can register to participate at www.wordmania.com/au/
Word Mania can be played on desktop, or on mobile devices through the free LiteracyPlanet Word Mania app, available from Google Play or the iTunes App Store.
The practice round is open now, and the competition starts on July 31.
Word Mania 2017 Dates
• Practice Round - now until July 30.
• Competition Round 1 - Monday, July 31 to Friday, August 4.
• Competition Round 2 - Monday, August 7 to Friday, August 11.
• Final Round - Wednesday, August 16 to Friday, August 18.
A Word Mania 2017 Starter Kit with all the details, as well as creative activities and free literacy activity sheets is available from the website.