Okay, I know I say this every time, but – I just love Word Study. Want proof? Check out my 5-part series that explains just how awesome it is!
But I understand that trying a new approach to spelling can be daunting – especially for homeschooling parents who aren’t quite sure about the no-workbook approach. Won’t it take a ton more work and planning?
Well, not a ton more. Trust me, the extra time and planning is worth it! But if it still scares you – I’m here to help.
(This post contains affiliate links.)
Today I’m sharing a five-day lesson plan for spelling long a words. Even if you’re teaching a different spelling pattern, feel free to adapt this lesson to any word list!
1) Prepare the new word sort. (Click here to learn more about word sorts.) Give it to your child to cut up.
This week we did a study of some basic long a spelling patterns: a-consonant-e, ai, and ay. I arranged them in table format. My daughter received this page (you’ll get it in the download below).
2. Guide your child as she sorts the words by pattern. I helped my daughter name the three patterns and identify the two “oddballs” (said and have). After she sorted the words, she read them aloud.
3. Have your child copy the words or paste them into a word study notebook. Be sure the words are arranged by pattern. You can see that we starred the oddballs.
1. Have your child sort the words and read them aloud. Always begin the day’s work this way! The genius of word sorts is that by repeated exposure to them, children will usually be able to internalize the patterns. You can avoid the traditional practice methods – such as copying the words five times each.
My daughter likes to sort large words in our pocket chart. (A pocket chart is definitely worth purchasing if you do any kind of at-home teaching!)
Then she reads the words with homemade pointer.
2. Play a game to reinforce the spelling pattern.
To learn more about The Train Game, check out this post. As you can see, it’s designed just for long a words. While it didn’t require my daughter to actually spell the words, she had to look closely at patterns and compare the words she was holding in her hand. (This game is in the download below.)
1. Again, start with a word sort. You might want to try a writing sort — where you read the words to your child and she writes them in the appropriate column on her paper (without seeing them). This will give you a heads-up as to what words need extra attention.
2. Play another spelling game. Make sure it gives your child opportunities to actually spell the words – either out loud or on paper.
We love Spell It — you can use it for any word list! All you need to do is make a set of word cards. But this time you can just use the word cards you used for The Train Game. (Get this game in the download too!)
1. Give your child practice with the tougher words. Work to find something interesting and fun — try to avoid copying those words five times! It’s mindless work, and it can build resentment and frustration. There are SO many creative ways to practice spelling words.
This week my daughter wrote the tricky words in shaving cream.
2. If you’d like, give some kind of a spelling pre-test. I like to play a game that will require my daughter to write the words. Climb the Ladder is a great choice. You could also just give the traditional spelling pre-test. Whatever the case, this is to inform instruction. What I mean is — if your child gets half the words wrong, she’s not ready for the test tomorrow. Extend the lesson a week. Do more word sorts and games to reinforce the patterns. But if your child gets 0-2 wrong, she should be ready to take the test.
Give the spelling test! Some people like to add words that fit the pattern even if they were not studied all week. If you think this is fair, go right ahead. As a classroom teacher and now as a parent, I prefer to stick to the list.
And she aced it! Time to move on to a new set of patterns.
And if you’re looking for printable games that you can use with any word list, we highly recommend this ebook. Many of the games are editable!
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