Inspector Spellor’s Investigations

Silvia Baldi, Susi Cazzaniga

Product: Teaching tools

ISBN: 9788859018285

Publication date: 01/04/2019

Suitable for: Primary 2nd level (ages 8-10)


10 crime scenes and many cases to solve… but not all the clues are obvious and not all the trails identified lead to a solution.  Can you be a careful observer and find all the hidden details? Can you help Inspector Spellor in his  investigation? To do this you will need to be faster than your playmates in finding all the words. By drawing the Chance cards and rolling the dice, you will continue the investigation, which will change from one game to the next. Each time the clues and the words to be found will be different.  Their orthographic difficulties will put you to the test. Happy investigating everyone!

In this game, words are very important.  They are the clues to finding the solution to the case and the players will have the opportunity to practice orthographic and lexical skills. Each table was constructed by inserting images that refer to many words (over 1,200), which contain the main orthographic difficulties of the Italian language: digraphs, trigrams, simple and multiple doubles, graphemes homophones, but also words with similar sounds and exceptions. Each is a piece for solving the case, each in itself a mini-exercise of rapid naming and lexical spelling.

What does it contain?
illustrated game board
20 sided dice
Chance cards, clues, outcome, and grand finale
4 investigator notebooks

What is the objective?
Each game will allow you to train skills related to rapid naming, lexical recovery and orthographic correctness.

ZOOM: a game of intuition, quick looks and speed!

The adventures of Inspector Spellor, the protagonist of the hit series Mini spelling detective stories, become a game: 10 scenes to observe and a lot of cases to solve... But be careful! Not all of the clues are obvious and not all traces lead to the solution.

Players must solve many grammatical challenges to find the correct clues, putting their spelling and lexical skills to the test.

All these spelling investigations are designed for children ages 7 and up.

Find out more!


7 decks with 72 playing cards: 10 Zoom Letter Cards | 10 Zoom 1 Cards | 10 Zoom 2 Cards | 10 Zoom 3 Cards | 10 Plot Cards | 10 Action Cards | 10 Grand Finale Cards

1 Card with the Zooms: The Card with the Zooms indicates which number on the dice corresponds to which Zoom to find. The Zoom represents a spelling problem or a letter that a word must contain/start with.

1 Tiebreaker: In case of a tie, the Tiebreaker card will help you understand who won.

10 Crime Scenes: these are the places where the clues can be found, or rather the scenes with the Zooms. 

1 dice, 1 hourglass, 4 note pads and 4 pencils


The aim of the game is to solve the challenges that are presented, after having built a Case with cards. These challenges consist in identifying certain words with certain characteristics on the game boards. For each challenge there is a card at stake: the player who collects the most cards by the end of the game, wins. The winner must then identify the guilty culprit from the list of suspects, but the case will be solved only if all the players agree on the suspect identified by the winner!


The game is for 2-4 players, ages 7 and up. Each round lasts between 20 and 30 minutes.

Game preparation

  • Divide the 70 cards by colour and shuffle each deck.
  • Place 2 decks of Zoom cards in the box.
  • Without looking at the remaining 5 decks of cards, create a Case to solve by picking one card from each deck:
    • 1 Plot Card with the title of the crime scene
    • 2 Zoom Cards* (chosen randomly)
    • 1 Action Card
    • 2 Zoom Cards* (chosen randomly)
    • 1 Grand Finale Card

* The Zoom Cards have 4 levels of difficulty, from the easiest Zoom Letter (suitable for younger players), to the more complex Zoom 3 (suitable for expert players).

Game Play

1. Once the case deck is built, the youngest player turns over the first card: the Plot Card and - based on this - puts the corresponding Crime Scene on the table so that everyone can see it. He reads the card aloud.

2. The card requires you to roll the dice to establish the Problem / Zoom of the words to find or to follow specific instructions. Roll the dice and check on the Zoom card what letter or problem you need to play in that specific challenge.

3. At this point the search for words starts and all players will have to write them in their notebook.

4. The player who wins the challenge keeps the card and can turn over the next card and read it.

5. To determine the winner in the event of a tie, the dice is thrown and the criteria for the tie breaker is read.

End of the game and determining the culprit

The game ends when all the cards have been played. The winner is the one with the most cards, and is appointed Inspector.

Based on the instructions of the Grand Finale Card, the winner will have to write the name of the possible culprit without telling the other players. At this point, the other players will have to work as a team and agree to choose a single culprit. If the winner and the team choose the same person, the case is solved. If not, it remains unsolved!


The objective of the game is to find the mysterious clues to the solution of the case, by solving the grammatical challenges shown on the cards. Each game board was created by inserting images that are connected to numerous words that contain the main spelling difficulties of the Italian language. Each one is a part of the solution and a mini-practice of rapid naming and spelling-lexical recovery at the same time.


Silvia Baldi and Susi Cazzaniga, psychologists and psychotherapists, believe that spelling can be played with and not only taught!

Happy investigating everyone!