CJ and Edison travel to the "Land of the Lost Words", a prehistoric land where CJ hopes to find the fossil remains of his ancestors. While exploring, the two are sent flying by the mighty roar of a Tyrannosaurus rex. Edison lands near a family of cave people longing for fire for warmth and light. They see Edison and trap him inside of a cage to use his light for their purposes.
For a moment, CJ finds himself all alone, and worries that he'll never find Edison. Suddenly, a friendly-looking pterodactyl named Perry swoops down towards CJ, and CJ requests Perry's help in finding Edison, to which Perry happily agrees. The player must lead Perry and CJ through ten areas of the Land of the Lost Words to find Edison.
At the end of the game, CJ reaches the cave family and Edison, and distracts the cave family with a fiery torch. As the family grabs the torch, CJ frees Edison, and the two escape.
Rather than having a straightforward set of activities like most JumpStart games, JumpStart Spelling mainly utilizes a platforming style of gameplay, where two types of challenges can occur:
- Spelling Obstacles: The player controls CJ's movements by moving Perry around the screen to act as a guide with the mouse. When the player moves CJ to a stone tablet, the player will be asked to spell a word. A closeup of the tablet will be shown, which has blank spaces on it for placing letters to spell the word. Letters will fall from the top of the screen, and the player must move Perry to catch letters, and then move Perry to the blank spaces on the tablet to spell the word. Each time the player spells a word correctly, it will enable CJ to cross a certain obstacle to continue. All of the words on all of the stone tablets in a single area must be filled in to move on to the next challenge.
- Timing Obstacles: These are extra challenges in each area that test the player's timing, rather than spelling skills, which require the player to get CJ past a certain physical obstacle such as a geyser.
After a set of Spelling/Timing Obstacles is completed, then this challenge occurs:
- Bonus Round: Dinosaurs will hold up signs with words on them, and the player must select the word that matches the one CJ asks for. Each bonus round contains three questions. The more questions the player answers correctly, the more bonus points are awarded at the end of the bonus round. After the bonus round is complete, the player's total score for the area is calculated, and the player can progress to the next part of the game.
- Jungle Jumble
- Prehistoric Pond
- Treetops & Tar Pits
- Leaping Lava!
- Fossil Falls
- Rocky Ridge
- Crazy Caverns
- Magma Cave
- Sandy Steppes
- Stone Canyon
- ↑ Knowledge Adventure. All-New "JumpStart Learning Games™" Makes Great, Low-Cost Alternative To Kids´ Videos. Archived September 2, 2000. Retrieved September 14, 2019.