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Spelling Activities

Learning how to recognize and spell words will help your child become a better reader. You can help your child practice reading and spelling short-vowel words. Below are some activities to help make learning fun!

  • Making Words : Write the following letter combinations on index cards: an, ap, at, ed, en, et, ib, ip, og, op, ug, un. Then, give your child five consonant letter cards—for example, b, c, r, d, l. Ask your child to choose a consonant card and add it to a combination card to make a word.
  • Sort the Cards : Write short-vowel words on note cards. Ask your child to sort the cards according to the vowel sounds.
  • Unscramble the Word : Give your child three letters, and ask him or her to unscramble the letters to make a word. Explain that sometimes you can make more than one word with the same three letters. For example, with the letters a, p, and n, your child can make the words pan and nap.
  • Rhyming Pictures : Make a list of rhyming words that end with an, ap, at, ed, en, et, ib, ip, og, op, ug, un. Ask your child to look in magazines and cut out a picture for a rhyming word. Encourage your child to find at least two rhyming words for each ending vowel-consonant combination.
  • Beat the Clock : Set a timer and see how many words your child can write down in one minute. Have your child write down as many words as he or she can spell with the following endings: ack, ath, est, ock, ump, and, ing, ick, ock, ish, ent.
  • Spell the Correct Word : Write a word for your child on a piece of paper that includes letters similar to the ending letters mentioned in Beat the Clock. Then, say a new word and ask your child to change a letter to make the new word. For example, write the word pick and ask your child to make it pack. Below are some more examples to help get you started:
  • Tips for Reading and Spelling Chart

    Tips for Reading and Spelling Chart

  • Play a Guessing Game : To begin, use the word endings ack, and, ath, est, ick, ill, ing, ock, and ump to create words. Write down a blank line for each letter in the word. For example, for a four-letter word, write _ _ _ _. Ask your child to guess letters to create the word. If your child guesses a correct letter, write it on the correct line. If not, make a list of the letters missed. When your child fills in enough letters to guess the word, he or she should tell you the word and the correct spelling. Now use the following beginning blends to create more words: st, cr, fr, sw, cl, dr, pr, sk, sl, pl, gl, br, tr, sp, fl, sh, ch, th, wh. Take turns making up words with your child and guessing the correct letters.
  • Word Search : Create a word search puzzle for your child (write ten letters across and five down). Include words that have the following vowel combinations: ai, ay, ee, ea, ie, oa, ow. Ask your child to circle the words. If your child needs assistance, say the word aloud, then ask him or her to repeat the word and find it in the puzzle. Below is an example.
  • Word Search Example

    Word Search Example

  • Tic Tac Toe Spelling : Draw a tic tac toe board. Instead of using an X or O to mark a square, create words that end with the following letters: ame, ake, ate, ave, ive, ice, ite, ine, one, ose, ail, eep, each, eat, oat, ain. Have your child write a word in one of the squares, and circle the word so you both know which ones belong to him or her. The first person who gets three in a row is the winner.
  • Magnetic Spelling : Give your child magnetic letters and ask him or her to spell words with long vowel sounds that end in silent e—for example, rake, kite, hope, mute. Set a timer and see how many words your child can put together in one minute for each vowel combination. Help your child learn how to put letters together to make words. This time, focus on words that have irregular vowel patterns with blends and digraphs. Below are some words to help get you started. Use the activities below to help your child practice spelling and become a better reader.
  • Irregular Vowel Patterns with Blends and Digraphs

    Irregular Vowel Patterns with Blends and Digraphs

  • Spelling Concentration : On each of 12 index cards, write one of the following letters or letter combinations: st, b, f, l, ou, c, ar, ird, ork, aw, t, oy. Turn all of the cards face down and play a matching game to find two cards that make a word. When you find a match, remove those cards from the game. Add more cards as you like!
  • Unscramble the Words : Mix up the letters of the words in the box above, and ask your child to unscramble as many words as he or she can in one minute. Setting a timer can help motivate your child to work more quickly.
  • Guess the Word : Think of a word, and write down a blank line for each letter. For example, for a four-letter word, write _ _ _ _. Ask your child to guess letters to create the word. If your child guesses a correct letter, write it on the correct line. If not, make a list of the letters missed. When your child fills in enough letters to guess the word, have your child tell you the word and the correct spelling. Take turns making up words with your child and guessing the correct letters.

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