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Spelling Lesson Plans

EI or IE?

Use our step-by-step spelling lesson plans for spelling success! You and your students will gain confidence in spelling in tricky words by  progressing methodically through key concepts.

Teaching IE/EI Words

The printable lesson includes ten steps for spelling success. Shown here are just a few of the steps in this important lesson. This lesson is suitable for grades 5 and up, including ESL students and adults.  

See our list of 285 IE/EI words for more practice.


Begin with this short pretest. Decide if  ie  or ei  goes in each blank.

1.  My n__ ghbor  bel __ves he can ach__ve almost anything.
2.  N___ ther  the dog nor the cat w____ghs more than our pet turkey.
3.  When my fr__nd  drinks too much caff__ne, he starts acting w___rdly!
4. Clare hopes to rec___ve a job after the interv___w.
5. Our  v___ns  move blood to and from the heart.

Check your answers at the end of this lesson.

Step One

Memorize this rule. It doesn’t always work, but it will help you with many of these tricky words.
          Put i before e
          Except after c
          Or when sounded like a
          As in neighbor and weigh.
Now let’s look at each part of the rule, one piece at a time.

Step Two

Put i before e

IE words that fit the rule: achieve, belief, believe, brief, chief, die, field, fierce, friend, grief, grieve, niece, pie, piece, relief, retrieve, shield, siege, thief, tie, view, yield

Finish spelling these words:

th __ f           br___ f            fr___ nd             gr___ f         n___ce

rel___ f        f ___ ld             y ____ ld           v___w          ach ___ ve

 Write sentences for these words:  shield        piece        believe

Check your answers at the end of this lesson.

Step Three

Except after c

EI words that fit the rule: ceiling, conceive, conceited, deceive, perceive, receipt, receive

Finish spelling these words:

          rec ___pt           conc___ted        perc ___ve

Write sentences for these words:  receive     ceiling    deceive

Check your answers at the end of this lesson.

Step Four

Now practice both sets of words that you’ve learned so far. Finish the words.

1. The winds blew so f___rcely that no one could bel___ ve the damage they caused.

2.  I will need a rec___pt for the money you rec____ved from me.

3. My mom was so rel ___ved to have the bathroom c___ling painted.

4. The th ___ f   did not ...

There's much, much more to this lesson!  Print the entire  spelling lesson plan to see all ten steps needed to master IE/ EI words and to check your answers.

Our list of 285 IE/EI words will give students of all ages plenty of words to practice.

More Spelling Lesson Plans

Here's another step-by-step spelling lesson plan about doubling final consonants when adding suffixes.

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.

Mom helping son with spelling lesson

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. 

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

  1. Spelling Words Well
  2. Spelling Lessons
  3. Teaching IE/EI Words


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