Jr. Journalism: My Spelling Bee Experience

Written by: Lucas Reinhold, Age 11

On February 22nd, I competed in the Ward County Spelling Bee after winning my school Spelling Bee at North Plains Elementary. I had a busy day, and here is how it went.
I had to go to Minot State University, where the Spelling Bee was. While I was driving from base, I used the Word Club app to practice a little more. When I got to the building, I went to the third floor to wait for everybody to get there. After about half an hour, all 60 participants (5-8 graders) were there, and we began.


First, we had our written test where the pronouncer would say a word and we would have to write it.

There were 50 words total:
railings, hitched, saints, bossiness, kneeling, twelve, hummingbird, donkeys, grimy, until, compute, decide, beyond, rituals, murals, probably, beginning, ceiling, riffled, potential, vertical, intertribal, minerals, inlet, deviation, adjusted, republic, efficient, menacing, temperature, limbering, switcheroo, shrivel, aggravate, cronies, maniacal, churned, tiara, inaudible, pistons, feisty, Chicago, reenactment, crevices, crevices, ordained, counterfeit, pioneered, prophetically, infrared, and encompass.


Out of all those 50 words, I only got 2 wrong: ‘aggravate’ and possibly ‘reenactment’. I tied for second place, which is pretty good.


After that, we had our lunch break. At first, I had to wait for my mom to finish grading the papers of everyone. When she got back, though, we went downstairs to eat lunch. I got a raspberry ice tea, 2 slices of pizza, and vanilla ice cream with gummy bears, Oreos, M&Ms, and chocolate syrup. After lunch, we wandered around the building exploring all the places including offices and a Barnes & Noble. Then, we went back to the Spelling Bee room and got ready.


Soon, the adults started giving out medals to everyone for winning at their school. After that, they gave out trophies. They were finalists among 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades – 1st and 2nd place for the city and county. I won a trophy for 1st place in the city of Minot for 5th grade.


After the awards, the pronouncer told us the top 21 people that would go on to the oral round which is where you go up to the microphone and spell out a word.


I was one of them. Everyone went up to the judges table and picked a name tag with a test word that we would spell first when we go up to the microphone, for practice (my test word was “hamster”).


On the tag there was also a number which would decide where you would sit. My number was 9, so I was 9th.
We started out with easy words and then they got harder. We took turns spelling one word each. If you made a mistake, you were out. The words I got right were kidney, meteor, designer, seclusion, hackneyed, and vengeance.
After many words, there were only four other people, and that was when I spelled the word “topgallant” wrong: I thought it was ‘topgalant’.


A lot of people cheered for me and congratulated me, including my principal and my mom. We decided to stay until we saw who won: it was between a 7th grader (who ended up winning) and an 8th grader. It was very close: they went back and forth for a while.


After that, we drove back to my school, North Plains, to show my class my award. My classmates were very happy for me and really liked my trophy. It was a good day.

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