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Spelling Lessons : Ideas to Strengthen Your Spelling Instruction

teacher working at his computer

Whether you're developing spelling lessons for primary students, high schoolers, or ESL learners, there are some common spelling strategies you can use. We've compiled some of the best ideas right here!

For maximum benefit, customize our spelling exercises, homework ideas and teaching tips to your own situation. And remember to "pay it forward." Share these resources with other parents and teachers!

irregular plural nouns page 1

NEW! Irregular Plural Nouns - Since the plural of goose is geese, why isn't the plural of moose meese? In this comprehensive spelling lesson, I cover predictable spelling patterns for many of the most frequently encountered irregular plural nouns. Other words, like moose, have no plural, and just can't be explained. But I'll tell you about those, too!

Success in Spelling Training chalkboard image

Spelling Training - Focus on your choice of spelling topics: commonly misspelled words, spelling rules, prefixes/suffixes, mnemonic devices, spelling patterns and more!

Spelling Lessons and Tips for ESL, Elementary, and Home School

Put words in alphabetical order worksheet

Put Words In Alphabetical Order with this pair of engaging worksheets. The first list features 25 fun foods that must be alphabetized by their first and second letters. The second page requires students to look at the third and fourth letters in a list of five letter words that all begin with W. Challenging!

Practice Spelling Words Follow these tips and techniques to master your weekly spelling words, or any list of spelling words. These ideas work for all ages, especially if the speller has a family helper or study buddy. 

Graduation cap from our list of Associates Degree Abbreviations, from www.spelling-words-well.com

Associates Degree Abbreviations - See our list of common Associate and Bachelor Degrees. Learn how to use them properly in your writing. 

Word Abbreviations - A list of many of the most common abbreviations for time, measurement, titles and some Latin abbreviations used in English, along with helpful tips for using them correctly. 

The numbers 1,2 and 3 with smiling faces

Number Spelling Scramble - Students will practice the correct spellings of some tricky number words with this fun page. Printable chart and teaching tips are included. 

Common Core Standards - Lots of our games, worksheets and teaching ideas are now aligned to the Common Core State Standards. See our list.

"Test" written on a chalkboard, from our Free Spelling Tests at www.spelling-words-well.com

NEW!  Free Spelling Tests - These free spelling tests cover 20 tough, frequently misspelled words. In this convenient format, kids can test themselves. How well will you score? 

Spelling Bee Quizzes - Traffic congestion

Spelling Quizzes from the Evening News - These wacky spelling quizzes are a fun way to practice many commonly misspelled words. See how many mistakes you can find in each fake news report. Then check your answers for the weather, news, sports and traffic updates. Kids LOVE to find other people's spelling mistakes! 

Here are two fun ideas to put some pizzazz into your weekly spelling bee quizzes. Try these spelling test games this week!

list of suffixes and words that use them

List of Suffixes  We've compiled a long list of the most commonly-used suffixes. We've also include the meaning and 10 example words for each suffix.

Find more dictation lesson plans here:

2nd grade

3rd grade

4th grade

5th grade

6th grade

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.  

smiling home school family with books open at the kitchen counter

Homeschool Spelling - Simple ideas to add some fun to your spelling routine. Try something new this week!

Invented Spelling - A quick look at both sides of the debate on   invented spelling vs. conventional spelling for early learners.

Puzzle Partners - Ideas for partner activities that enable 3rd-6th graders to work together and learn to spell well!  Why not use word searches, riddles, crosswords and other popular puzzle formats to help students practice their spelling words???

Spelling Bee Quiz - To complete this quiz, carefully read each set of words. Select the ONE word that is spelled INCORRECTLY. Then try to spell that word correctly. Finally, check your answer and figure out your score. How high will YOU go?

paper and A+ stamp

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.

More Spelling Homework Ideas - You'll find 20 more great ideas here to help practice their spelling words. Include some of these with your regular spelling lessons!

Don't miss all the new lists of Vocabulary Words here at Spelling-Words-Well! Use my mega-lists to create your own spelling lessons and word games as you seek to enhance the spoken and written vocabularies of your students!

Spelling Lessons for ESL, Upper Grades, and Adults

Step-By-Step Spelling Lesson Plans - Here's a very methodical way  to teach, or learn, those tricky IE/EI words. Great for ESL students, upper elementary students, or adults. You can use every step of this lesson, or just the ones that you need. This free printable lesson includes a link to big list of IE/EI words for extra study and practice.


Step-by-Step Lesson - This lesson methodically teaches when to double, and when not to double, the final consonant when adding suffixes. 

Building Spelling Skills - Practice tips and extra lesson ideas for helping upper elementary students boost their spelling performance. 

Teaching Tips for Problematic Words- Great for 6th grade, or any grades 4 through adult. Specific ideas for learning tricky words. Find ideas here for easily- confused word pairs such as accept/except, tricky vowels and other common spelling issues. 

Everyday Spelling Errors - Follow these 5 steps and you'll correct a large number of common spelling mistakes. Avoid problems like 
alot of money vs a lot of money.

Spelling Strategies - Students who master these ten spelling rules/strategies are sure to become better spellers! We clearly state the "rule" and provide examples of words spelled correctly when following the rule.

Comments from Our Visitors:

Janice, from the U.S. writes:

"I've been teaching ESL to adults for about 15 years, and last week a student asked if I could help him improve his spelling. ...I told that student I'd see what I could find. And that's how I came upon your  website.

What a terrific resource it is! Thank you SO much! I plan to include lots of your materials in my lessons from now on."

Thanks for writing, Janice. Please feel free to contact us, too!

Author Ann Richmond Fisher

Ann Richmond Fisher is a longtime published educational writer, a former classroom teacher and a former homeschool teacher. Ann's spelling bee resources, graded spelling word lists, spelling games, worksheets, and other language arts resources have become respected around the globe since she launched Spelling-Words-Well in 2010.

Ann is also the creator of www.word-game-world.com.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying sales.


Spelling Words Well logo

Think a Spell brain teaser eBook

Think-A-Spell! A fun collection of brain teasers and spelling challenges. Best for ages 10 to adult. 

Anyword Spelling Practice eBooks from www.spelling-words-well.com

AnyWord Spelling Practice Series   Fun Worksheets, games & prompts that work with almost ANY spelling words!

Gigantic 78 cover 275 px

Gigantic Spelling Bee Word Lists with definitions, sentences and languages

Spelling Bee Toolbox Gr 35 cover 275 px

Spelling Bee Toolboxes for Grades 3/5 and 6/8   All the resources you need for a successful bee! 

monumental grade 56 cover 275px

Monumental Spelling Bee Word Lists for grades 3/4, 5/6 and 7/8 with definitions, sentences and languages

mammoth grade 34 cover 275 px

Mammoth Spelling Bee Word Lists  for grades 3/4, 5/6 and 7/8  with sentences, definitions, and languages

Young Spellers cover 275 px

Young Spellers Spelling Bee Word List for Grades 1 & 2 only 

100 Diff Words Vol 1 275 px

100 Difficult Spelling Bee Words with Definitions, Sentences and Pronunciations, Volumes 1 and 2

600 Spelling Bee Words & Sentences

600 Spelling Bee Words & Sentences for Gr 3/5 & 6/8 Extra words & sentences at two levels

"My 8 and 11 year old sons struggle with spelling. I was looking for free printable resources and struggled to find fun and engaging ways for them to improve it.

I came across your website and found lots of free resources that are educational and engaging at the same time.

Thank you."    from G.K., Australia

"I love the variety of methods used to teach spelling."  S., South Africa

101 Word Play Puzzlers 275 px

101 Word Play Puzzlers   Discover the FUN of letters & words as you solve each unique puzzle. Great vocabulary & spelling practice!