Do you want your students to remember their spelling words after the test on Friday? Of course you do! That’s the whole point of teaching spelling. But, let’s be honest . . . that doesn’t often happen. So today, I’m sharing 3 simple spelling activities you must try this year to make sure that your students are actually learning how to spell and not just memorizing random words for the test.
1. Explicit Spelling Instruction
The first spelling activity you must add to your lesson plans is explicit instruction. If you want your students to become master spellers, you need to intentionally teach them spelling rules and patterns.
I know this might not seem obvious. After all, if your schooling was anything like mine, you definitely did not learn to spell this way. And your curriculum probably does not have spelling mini lessons included. But that is how you teach every other subject, and it is how you should be teaching spelling too.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “How in the world am I supposed to teach my students spelling rules when I don’t know them myself?”
Don’t worry! You don’t have to be an expert speller to teach spelling effectively. We’ve created all the mini lessons you need to successfully teach spelling rules and patterns to your students and put them together in an open-and-click PowerPoint for you.
Seriously, all the rules are spelled out for you, so all you have to do is follow along. It’s so easy even a substitute can do it.
Done-for-you Spelling Mini Lessons
Each week of spelling begins with a focused mini lesson that introduces students to an important spelling rule. This instruction not only helps them learn the words on their spelling list, but when they understand the general concept, they will also be able to spell thousands of words not on their spelling list.
Let’s look at an example. In second grade, one of the rules students learn is about double consonants. The rule is that we usually double consonants s, f, and l after a short vowel in a one-syllable word. The PowerPoint teaches the rule and then provides lots of examples and opportunities for practice.
All you have to do is follow along.
FREE Spelling Activities
Want to try it for yourself?
We’ve put together a FREE week of spelling activities for second and third grade. This resource includes:
- 3 differentiated spelling lists
- Done-for-you PowerPoint mini lessons
- Anchor charts
- Partner practice strategies
- Interactive notebook activities
- Practice and homework sheets
- Task cards
- Detailed teacher directions
Click HERE to download the second grade spelling activities.
Click HERE to download the third grade spelling activities.
2. Interactive Notebook Spelling Activities
Another one of my favorite spelling activities that really helps students learn to spell is interactive notebooks.
Students need many opportunities to practice new spelling words and rules each week. Effective practice includes listening to, speaking, and writing words.
While there is no shortage of spelling activities out there–writing words 3X each, rainbow words, drawing a picture–those common spelling activities don’t foster a true understanding of spelling. In fact, in many of them, kids are more focused on drawing and coloring than on spelling.
That’s why I love interactive notebooks. This spelling activity is a hands-on task that requires students to think about and interact with the material. They are cutting, gluing, and manipulating the paper to complete the activities. But we keep the cuts straight and simple so the focus stays on spelling.
This interactive activity ensures that students are engaged in spelling, which is great for kinesthetic learners. Interactive notebooks are also a great resource for students to refer to throughout the week.
Our spelling program comes with two interactive notebook activities for each lesson. The activities are printed on half sheets, which saves you time, paper, and copy costs. Simply print one sheet for every two students and cut the page in half.
3. Practice Spelling Words in Context
The third must-do activity is to practice spelling words in context. The ultimate goal of teaching spelling is that your students will be able to recognize these words in their reading and spell them properly in their writing.
But most spelling instruction does not include practical spelling activities. Instead, spelling is taught in a vacuum–students learn and write the words in isolation and memorize them for the test on Friday. It’s no wonder they can’t properly apply them the following week.
If you want students to be able to use their spelling words after the test, you need to incorporate practical spelling applications into their practice.
Our practice sheets give students the opportunity to recognize spelling words in written texts and to create sentences of their own using their spelling words. These practical spelling activities help students understand and apply spelling rules, leading to lasting learning.
Ready-to-Use Spelling Lessons
If you’re ready to add these must-do spelling activities to your spelling instruction and increase the odds that your students will remember the words long after Friday’s test, you will love our spelling curriculum for second and third grade.
Each yearlong bundle has 32 weeks of spelling lessons and activities designed to make spelling words stick.
The spelling program is easy to differentiate and easy to use. Three differentiated lists that all focus on the same spelling rule or pattern allow you to give each student just-right words without having to prep multiple lessons.
This program is also flexible. Sample schedules show you how to teach spelling in 2, 3, 4, or 5 days a week. There is an option that works for you.
Check out our spelling bundles and make this the year that your students actually learn to spell.
If you’d like to learn more about how to differentiate spelling, check out this post.
Have a Not So Wimpy Day,