Use our step-by-step free spelling lessons or spelling success! You and your students will gain confidence in spelling in some confusing words by progressing methodically through key concepts.
In this free
printable spelling lesson, you’ll learn when to double
and when not to double the final
consonant in a word when adding a suffix that begins with
a vowel. Shown here are just a few of the steps in
this important lesson. This lesson is suitable for grades 5 and up, including ESL and adults.
list of words for more practice.
entering, opened, ear-splitting, running, jogging, Preferring, dialed
Begin to memorize this rule:
A. If a word with the accent on the last
(or only) syllable
B. has a single final consonant
C. that is preceded by a single vowel,
D. then when adding a suffix that begins with a vowel,
E. you double the final consonant.
It’s not as hard as it looks, when you examine it Step by Step!
Let’s start with clap and go through each portion of the rule as we add the suffix -ed.
A. Is the
the last or only syllable? Yes, it’s a one syllable word.
B. Does it have a final consonant? Yes, p
C. Is the consonant preceded by a short vowel? Yes, short a.
D Does the suffix –ed begin with a vowel. Yes, e
E. Should you double the final consonant? Yes, clapped.
Follow this same exercise with one-syllable words. Write each new word that you form.
win + ing bat + er play + ed
sit + ing slow + est nod + ing
at the end of this lesson.
Now we’ll look at some two-syllable words. Here the accent is important. Let’s begin with differ plus the suffix -ent and go through the five steps again.
A. Is the accent on the last syllable? No. It’s pronounced DIF – fer.
We do not need to go through the rest of the steps. Although the word has a final consonant, and we’re adding a suffix that begins with a vowel, we do not double the r because the accent is on the first syllable. The new word is correctly spelled different.
Now consider forgot + -en.
A. Is the
the last syllable? Yes. We say for – GOT.
B. Does it have a final consonant? Yes, t.
C. Is the final consonant preceded by a short vowel? Yes, short o.
D. Does the suffix begin with a vowel? Yes, e.
E. Should we double the final consonant? Yes, forgotten.
Complete the steps above as you form these new words.
Now practice what you’ve learned in the first three steps.
1. My puppy gave me the (big + est) _____________, (wet +est) _________kiss ever!
2. The back tire is even (flat + er) ___________ than the front one. We’ll need to get it (repair + ed) ____________.
The boss (refer +
ed) _________ to problems in the ...
Here's another step-by-step free spelling lesson about learning to spell those tricky EI/IE words.
Spelling Exercises - Ready-to-use sentences for students to copy from the board. Use ours, then follow this format to make more of your own spelling exercises.
How to Teach Spelling - Teachers, start here! We provide key guidelines for anyone who is trying to teach spelling, regardless the age of the student.
Common Core Standards - Lots of our games, worksheets and lesson plans are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. See our list.
Spelling Homework - The more practice the better! 20 fabulous, flexible ideas for any list of weekly spelling words. Several ideas include input from a family helper
101 Word Play Puzzlers Discover the FUN of letters & words as you solve each unique puzzle. Great vocabulary & spelling practice!
Fun Spelling Worksheets for Grades 1/2 50 All-new reproducible pages for early learners!
AnyWord Spelling Practice Series Worksheets, games & prompts that work with almost ANY spelling words!
Spelling Bee Toolboxes for Grades 3/5 and 6/8 All the resources you need for a successful bee! On Sale!
Monumental Spelling Bee Lists with definitions, sentences and language of origin
Colossal Spelling Bee Word Lists Definitions, parts of speech & sentences included for 600 words, at two levels
100 Difficult Spelling Bee Words, Definitions & Sentences Our toughest list, for upper grades and adults!
600 Spelling Bee Words & Sentences for Gr 3/5 & 6/8 Extra words & sentences at two levels