THE art of wordcraft is a tricky one.
But students now have a chance to refine their skills with an online program.
The online education program LiteracyPlanet recently launched Word Mania 2016, a free national online competition to encourage students from Years 1 to 9 to improve their literacy skills.
Students at Moss Vale High School will take part in the competition for the first time this year.
The competition is a timed and interactive word building game, where students have to create as many words as they can from 15 letter tiles in three minutes.
The exercise involves various literacy skills including use of basic language units like phonemes and morphemes, spelling, word recognition, vocabulary and word knowledge.
There will be more than $100,000 in prizes for schools, for both participation and skill, and regional and national winners.
Moss Vale High special education teacher Kathy Kentwell said the four special needs classes had been using LiteracyPlanet since last term.
Recently the students have started using the Word Mania program.
"Students just love it. It's good for them to be able to think about letters in a different way," she said.
"They're all very engaged in it and they all enjoy it and learn how to make words. The teachers like it too."
As well as the online program, students have also been able to download find-a-words which has helped them identify different words.
All four classes will take part in the competition and Mrs Kentwell said it would be nice if they were able to win something for the school. LiteracyPlanet CEO Adam McArthur said Word Mania 2016 was intended as a fun and easy way to engage students in developing their foundational literacy skills.
"Kids really enjoy using digital technologies to learn, and engaging them in a fun online challenge with the opportunity to win prizes for their school makes them enthusiastic to practise and improve their core literacy skills," he said.
Last year, more than 105,000 students from 1300 schools participated in the Word Mania competition.
The 2016 competition will also feature regional leaderboards to allow fun rivalry between schools in the same area.
Every school in Australia can participate in Word Mania 2016.
Schools that already use LiteracyPlanet have automatic access to Word Mania 2016 and can contact LiteracyPlanet on 1300 565 696 to organise competition logins for additional students.
Schools that do not use LiteracyPlanet can find more information and register at www.wordmania.com.au
Students can play Word Mania for their school on their desktop or through the free LiteracyPlanet Word Mania app for tablet and mobile (available for iOS and Android).
The competition will start on August 1.