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Does your school system teach spelling?  A lot of systems do not have official spelling programs. Even if they do, they don’t usually extend beyond elementary school. And they don’t usually provide alternative approaches for teaching spelling for those kids who just  aren’t getting it.

So what do you do with those struggling spellers? The students that, in the fourth grade, still…can’t…spell.



In the fourth grade my son struggled to learn all of the spelling rules. He rocked at phonics in the early elementary grades, but beyond that…well, let’s just say he over learned phonics and could not learn and apply the many complicated spelling rules we have in the english language.

After watching him come home with poor spelling tests week after week in the 4th grade, I knew I had to do something alternative to help him. So I came up with some modified spelling activities that I thought would help him learn through the help of visual cues, scaffolding and of course…good ol’ repetition {but in a fun way}.


 What’s Different About These Spelling Activities?


I realized that my son needed more than just repetition. Writing and rewriting the words over and over and putting them in “ABC”  order was nothing short of torture. And…it didn’t work.

He was coming home with 20% on almost every test, week after week, and feeling terrible about himself.

My son needed more than just rewriting, he needed some “hints” and he needed some positive practice, so that he was getting the correct answers, without too much struggle. He needed to train his brain and improve his brain muscle memory on how to write the words correctly.

After some trial and error, this is what I came up with…

There are six spelling activities in this set.The first activity helps students to spell the words correctly by giving them a visual cue so that they have an idea about what letter might come next in the word. The “letter boxes” are brilliant! They just work! You have to try it for yourself to see it.

Activity 1: First, I let the child see both sides of the paper. Let them see how the letter boxes work and give them some time to see how the letters fit in the boxes. 

You might even want to let the child trace over the “check your work” side first.

Then fold the paper in half along the dotted line and read the spelling words to the child. Prepare to be amazed!



And have the student check his/her work after the complete the list. This gives them additional exposure to the words. 

Activity 2: The second activity has your student trace the spelling words on lines. This supports writing the words in a more typical way but still offers the student information {actually, all of the information} on how to spell the words. This helps to train the brain and the physical action of writing the words correctly. 

You can switch the order of activity 1 and 2 if you like. Either way it will offer support to help your stuggling kiddo. At this point, we are simply trying to get them to spell the words correctly, to have success.



Activity 3: Have some students who are ready for a challenge? This next activity can be used with the “challenge” words or any of the words that you wish to “quiz” them on.

I used this to see how my son was doing after activities 1 and 2. It is short {only 4 words} and I had him rewrite the words for practice. It is using the old repetition approach but on a smaller scale and so less daunting. This helps the child to meet with success faster.



Activity 4: This activity offers the student a little more independence for when they are ready. You can do five words, all ten or even add on the challenge words.



Activity 5: This is a lot of fun. In the first part of this activity, students take a break from writing spelling words and simply try to find them in the silly story. A word box is provided to help them. 

In the second part, students get to write their own silly story, using as many of the spelling words as they can. Reading and writing the words helps solidify the student’s knowledge.



Activity 6: The Test

It’s time for the post test…

You can also use this sheet as a pre test if you want to. You will be amazed at the difference!



I hope you have as much fun and success with these activities as my son did!


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These resources include my monthly Tips & Tricks newsletter {for a particular social skill each month}, as well as a variety of posters, visuals, games and activities designed to support the identified social skill.


If you love it, letters b-j are available in my shop if you’d like to check them out. And word list ‘z’ is there for FREE. I am in the process of uploading letters k-y…they will be available soon.


Thanks So Much and Happy Teaching!

Cindy ~Socially Skilled Kids


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