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Spell to Write and Read

girls at a classroom computer keyboard

We all want students to spell to write and read, not just to spell a list of words! 

Here are some activities to help you achieve this important goal. Make them a part of your elementary lesson plans, or use them in any other intermediate grade.

Here is a peek at the first page of the printable version of the lesson. The full text also appears below.

Page one of our "Spell to Write and Read" lesson

Ideas for Teaching Kids to Spell to Write and Read

#1 Sentence Solvers

You've probably asked your students to write sentences using their spelling words -- perhaps nearly every week. It's a valuable activity, because we want kids to know how to use words, not just spell words. So here's a new twist. It may take a bit more of your time, but your students will love it. And they'll have even more practice in using spelling words.

student's hand, writing on his paper

1. Ask each student to write sentences for 4 different spelling words and submit them to you.

2. Check each set of sentences. Select the best one on each page and mark it with a star.

Tip: Allow students to type the sentences for the whole class. Let 2-3 kids type the set of sentences each week. Keep track of the typists so that all students have a turn throughout the year.

3. Type all the starred sentences into a single worksheet. Replace each spelling word with a blank.

4. Print the worksheets. Hand them out to students to complete. Tell students they must write a spelling word in each blank. (Some spelling words may be used more than once; some may not be used at all.)

Students will enjoy seeing one of their own sentences in print, and they'll try to guess who authored the others!

#2 Excellent Excerpts

happy girl reading a book

Type short passages from reading, science or social studies texts. Replace any spelling words from the text with blanks. Replace other grade-level words (and/or a few letters from tricky words) with blanks. Here's a sample: 

excerpt from a textbook, with blanks for some missing words

No time to type extra worksheets?

Ask your parent volunteers to help!

  • Plan ahead.
  • Photocopy several excerpts.
  • Underscore the words and letters you'd like to omit in each passage.
  • Ask your helpers to type the excerpts in their own time frame.

More Spelling Lessons & Resources

paper and A+ stamp

You may also be interested in these resources as you teach kids to spell to write and read:

Story Puzzles and A Listening Lesson - Great ideas for 3rd-5th grade classrooms

How to teach spelling - Even if you've been teaching for years, you might find it helpful to brush up on these fundamentals.

Spelling word games - Lots of simple ideas for fun spelling practice

Spelling homework - 40 fun, flexible ideas for anytime

  1. Spelling Words Well
  2. Spelling Lessons
  3. Spell to Write and Read


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