Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Part Two: What to do with Spelling Words

Ok, we have our spelling list, now what????

I remember in elementary school working with that word list through the week and then having a test on Friday. As a homeschooling parent, I see what we were doing. We were exposing ourselves to each word:  seeing it, writing it, saying it. We were putting it into our brain with as many senses as possible so that we could recognize the word just by looking at it and then we could spell it.

I started really thinking about ways to expose my son to each word in ways that would appeal to him. (BTW, I did do a bit of spelling with my daughter, but she has a natural affinity with words, just as I do, and she didn't need lessons in spelling.)  In thinking about my guy, I know that he needed to move and he needed to use his hands. Together, we came up with these ideas for working with words in a way that makes sense for him:

  • Basketball:  Spell the word out loud as he takes shots at the basket
  • Jumping Rope:  spell while jumping rope
  • Trampoline:  Spell the words out loud as he bounced, a letter a bounce - you choose your sport or game of choice and make up the rules!
  • Shuffle off to Buffalo, tap, jazz, ballet spelling the words - whatever works!
  • Mother May I?  He must spell the word I give him (and here we review alot!) and ask "Mother, may I?" I have to warn you, this one can get pretty silly! We have been known to switch roles and I have to do the spelling is usually quite bad at those time!  LOL
  • Dictionary and Thesaurus:  (IRL and online) Two ideas here. Look up each word, write it in syllables and write the words before it and after it alphabetically
  • Brainstorm:  Come up with as many words as possible that are spelled with similar spelling rules  (Village:  pillage, millage)   List them on a white board, chalk board
  • Prefixes and Suffixes:  Write each word with as many variations as possible by adding prefixes and suffices  (weapon:  weaponry, weapons or likely:  unlikely)
  • Crosswords, word finds, fill in the missing letters, word scrambles, etc. Worksheets that are games
  • Sentences and stories:  Writing either sentences or stories containing the words, act out the story with action figures, stop to write or spell the word out loud, the more outlandish the story the better!
  • Using index cards, put words into alphabetical order
  • Using index cards with each spelling word in it, shuffle the card, draw one card at a time, telling an ongoing adventure story using that word
  • Paint the words, type them, write them in dust, with water, in the air, use letter stamps, cut letters out of magazines, use calligraphy, bubble letters, or any fun lettering. This is only as limited as your imagination!
  • Write each word with markers, using a different color for each letter. For some reason, everyone loves this one!
  • Stack the word - see my example on the right
  • Pyramid the word - check out my example
  • Sing a freakishly silly song with spelling
  • Figure out what part of speech it is - on the right is an example of one way to do this...but there are many others
  • Look for synonyms, homonyms, antonyms - anytime you are using the word, your child is getting a visual awareness of that word
  • Look for root words, silent letters, syllables - becoming familiar with the appearance of that word helps in rereading and editing work. In fact, one of my "worksheets" is often a story that he has to edit. Naturally, all of the spelling words are misspelled.
  • Learn the spelling rule that explains the spelling - in general it's not just random!
  • Do extra work with the words that give a bit of trouble
  • At some point I made a board game that we repurposed to use as a spelling word game...Shoots and Ladders style.
  • Review past word lists and include them in your games.

Usually I will ask John to choose an activity he wants to do with his spelling list. But, occasionally, I do give him seat work to do at the table.

So, these are my ideas.  Do you have any?!  

If you enjoyed this blog post you may also enjoy:
Part One:  How to Create a Great Spelling List
Note to my Former Self
Post Apocalypse

1 comment:

  1. Love the brainstorming session. I will definitely have to try it for our next lesson and see how many new things i come up with!


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