Spelling it out…

We are sometimes asked about spelling in 4/5/6 – if you’ve ever wondered how we engage students with spelling in 4/5/6, read on!

The program values are that:

  • spelling is developmental and that meaning is the key to spelling
  • spelling needs to be taught explicitly; but in context
  • all children benefit from being taught spelling ‘knowledge’ (phonological, orthographical, morphology, etymology)
  • learning to spell should be integrated and connected through all curriculum areas



Here is a diagram that shows how students are often investigating spelling words in workshop time:

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 4.40.18 pm.png

We also use this with all 4/5/6’s, so feel free to use this at home as well:

Learning the Spelling of Words:

  1. Write down the word you are practising three times. Write each word on a new line. Focus on writing clearly and carefully. Record any things you notice about the size and shape of the word. You could try writing each letter in a different colour.
  2. Read the word out loud one at a time. For example “because: b-e-c-a-u-s-e” Repeat this process three times. If you can make a song, or a chant about it. Walk around as you do this to engage both sides of your brain.
  3. Look at the first word. Cover it up, try to say it and spell it, then write it. Check you are correct. Look at the second word. Cover it up, say them then write it. Repeat this process until you can see, cover, say and write all the words you are learning in the column.
  4. Make a flash card of your word. On one side write the word, the other the definition. Work with a friend learning words. Test each other. Shuffle the order, and try testing both ways eg. One person says the word, other person spells it out AND one person asks the gives the definition, the other answers with spelling and word.
  5. Record the word list in order. Write them from start to the end of the alphabet order, then from smallest to largest in number of letters
  6. Create a real sentence that has the word used based on its meaning(s)



‘Spelling It Out’ – How words work. (2016). Misty Adoniou

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