Learning spellings can, let’s face it, be very dull. A totally necessary skill for life, but the complexity of the English language doesn’t exactly make spelling ‘rules’ easy to teach or follow. Weekly spelling words usually start coming home to learn from Year 1 or 2 and children tend to be tested on these words once a week.
More often than not, the words will come home as a list and children are asked to learn them through the ‘Look, Cover, Write, Check, Correct’ method. This may well work for some learners, but if it isn’t for your child or you fancy spicing up your child’s spelling practice here are some alternative ways of learning the list!
Fun ways to learn how to spell
• Find words within the word (there’s a ‘hen’ in ‘when’!).
• Write the words in sand, mud, a glitter or salt tray (glitter or table salt in a recycled fruit or vegetable tray).
• Make the words using playdoh, magnetic or bath foam letters.
• Write the words using bright colours or bath crayons.
• Write each word out 5 times.
• Draw a picture for each word.
• Put your words into sentences.
• Make up a silly sentence using the letters (big elephants cause accidents under small elephants spells ‘because’).
• Break the word up into smaller parts (Wed + nes + day = Wednesday).
• Break the word up into syllables and tap them on your knees.
• Find a word that rhymes with it: is the spelling the same?
• Make and decorate a flashcard for each word: build a visual word wall with each word being a brick, play hide and seek with the word cards, put them up around the house in places your child always looks.
• Decorate biscuits with words using writing icing.
• Play ‘how do you spell…’ games in the car, on the bus or when scootering along.
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