These ideas can be used to make studying for spelling a fun experience!
Fry's Sight Word List
Rainbow Spelling-Write your words 3 times each tracing over the words in 3 different colors
Divide each word into syllables
Illustrate your words
I Spy- Draw a picture and hide your words inside
Trace your words in shaving cream 3 times each
Use pasta letters to spell your words and glue them to paper
Write your words in ABC order 3 times each
Write your words in order from longest to shortest and then shortest to longest
Make a word search
Make a crossword puzzle
Make a picture dictionary using your words
Make a game using all of your words and play it with your family
Create a comic strip and write captions using your words
Look up each word in the dictionary
60 Ways to Practice Spelling
1. Paint with water- Dip a Q-tip in water and practice spelling the words on
a chalkboard. The words will disappear like magic, leaving the chalkboard clean!
2. Shaving Cream Practice- An easy way to clean those dirty work tables clean
is to let the children finger paint on the table tops. Have the students
practice their spelling words in the shaving cream.
3. Scratch n' Sniff- Use a new sensation to teach the alphabet or spelling
words. Write letters with glue on paper, then sprinkle with Jell-O. Makes a
super scratch n' Sniff when tracing over the letters.
4. Adding Machine Tape Spelling- Students get tired of writing their spelling
words the same way every time. Try having the students practice their words on
adding machine tape.
5. Fishing for Words- On 3" x 5" cards print the students spelling words,
fold in half, and fasten each with a paper clip. Place the cards in a large fish
bowl. Using a toy fishing pole or a long stick, place a magnet on the string.
The students go fishing for a spelling word to practice.
6. Finger Paint Bags- Freezer strength zip lock bags and fingerprint make
great writing slates. Place a dab of finger paint (tempera paint can work,
although, not as well. Hey, look! A use for all that semi-dried up paint!) in
the zip-lock bag, tape the bag closed for extra strength. The student then lays
the bag flat on the table and writes the word on the bag with a finger. The word
will disappear like magic.
7. Record a Word- Have students use a tape recorder to practice their
8. Disappearing Act- Help your students perform a real disappearing act.
Children write their spelling words with chalk on black construction paper. Then
you can spray and watch their words disappear and return.
9. Flannel Board Practice- Students use a flannel board and flannel board
letters to practice their spelling words.
10. Scrabble Spelling- Place the wooden letter squares from an old Scrabble
game on the Scrabble rail. Students can use the squares to spell the weekly
words or to write a sentence of words. Incorporate math practice by having them
add the number values printed on the squares to find the week's "most valuable
11. Word Cubes- Write letters on small wooden blocks and have the students
arrange them and to spell their weekly words.
12. Spelling Magic- Try a little magic to teach spelling words! Have students
write words on white construction paper with white crayon. Then have them paint
over the paper with watered down tempera paint or watercolors. Words appear like
13. Partner Word Step- On large piece of butcher paper print the letters of
the alphabet. Have two partners pair up together to play this game. Have one
student read the word aloud. The other child must step on the letters to spell
14. Read and Grow- Encourage flash card practice with this growing flower.
Cut a large, colored, construction paper flower with a yellow circle glued to
its center. Use an X-acto knife to make two parallel slits in the center of the
flower. Cut green tag board strips the width of the slits, and insert the strip though the flower from the back.
Write the spelling words on the stem for the children to practice.
15. Egg Spellers- The teacher writes the weekly spelling words on small
pieces of paper and places them inside plastic eggs. (Now you know what to do
with all those plastic Easter eggs after your kids are bored with them. )
Students pick the eggs from an Easter basket. The students then must write that
16. Spelling Keys- The teacher writes the words for the week on construction
paper keys. The keys are placed on a shower curtain ring. The students can use
keys as flash cards to help them practice the weekly spelling words. On Friday,
after the spelling test they can tear off the keys that they learned to spell.
The words that they missed remain on the ring, this allows the student to
continue to practice the words they need help on. If the student can spell these
words on the review test they may then tear off the keys to take home.
17. Take the Pepsi Challenge- For a motivational technique, "Take the Pepsi
Challenge!" Each student has a Pepsi cup. When Friday's spelling test is
returned, he writes words he misses on a card and places it in his cup. When we
have our review test, students are re-tested on the same words. Anyone who has a
perfect score on all the unit tests and keeps his cup empty wins a Pepsi! Give a
Pepsi also for perfect scores on review tests.
18. Spelling Puzzles- Write the spelling words on different colors of tag
board. Cut the words apart in a variety of ways. The students then put the
puzzle back together to form the spelling words.
19. Q-Tip Eraser- Write the spelling words on the chalkboard. The students
then erase the words by tracing over them again and again with a Q-tip until the
words are erased.
20. Block Puzzles- The teacher strings together wooden block beads. Write the
spelling words on the top of the cubes, fill in the other sides with other
letters. Attach a tag to the end of the string of blocks and write the spelling
words on it. The student turns the blocks to reproduce the spelling word.
21. Spelling Bingo- The teacher gives a blank bingo card for a fun activity
to take the place of your traditional pretest. As the teacher reads each word,
students write it in a space of their choice. After giving all the words, I call
words randomly until someone calls, "BINGO!" The winner must say the correctly
spelled words that gave him the win.
22. Spelling Dice- The teacher writes the weekly spelling words on dice made
from inverted milk cartons. The student rolls the dice and whatever the dice
lands on they write 5 times.
23. Musical Words- A word skill game that is played like musical chairs. The
teacher places the spelling words on small pieces of paper in a large box or
bag. The children sit in a circle, and start passing the box around while music
plays. Whoever has the container when the music stops must pick out the paper
and read the word. If he can't, he is out. Continue to play until there is only
one person left.
24. Transparency Show Off- The teacher makes a transparency of regular lined
paper. The students practice writing their spelling words on the transparency.
The students then show off their work on the overhead projector for all to see.
25. Individual Chalkboards- Have the students practice writing their spelling
words on small chalkboards. They love it!
26. Tissue Paper Tracing- The teacher writes the weekly spelling words on a
large piece of paper. The students then place tissue paper over the words and
trace over them with crayon.
27. Wooden Flash cards- Try using pieces of wood as flash cards. The students
enjoy the change!
28. Contact Paper Chalkboards- The teacher needs to make 5" x 7" cardboard
pieces, cover half the cardboard with the special chalkboard contact paper. (You
can also do this with chalkboard paint!) Then write the spelling word on the
other half. The students look at the word and then copy it on the chalkboard
29. Magnetic Cookie Sheet- The teacher arranges assorted magnet letters on a
cookie sheet. Students use the letters to form the weekly spelling words.
30. Overhead Posters- The teacher makes a transparency of the weekly spelling
words. The list is then shown on the wall. A piece of butcher paper is taped to
the wall. The student then traces the spelling words onto the butcher paper.
31. Hold It- Young children often find it difficult to hold a handful of
cards while playing "Go Fish!" These card holders are really simple to make and
really do the job! Place two plastic lids (Cool Whip lids work great!), flat
sides together. Place a button in the center on each side, and sew the entire
unit together with strong string or dental floss. Children slip cards between
the two lids and hold the card holder. The game is played just like "Go Fish!"
by using a pair of cards for each spelling word.
32. Typewriter Fun- Have the students write their spelling words ten times
each on the typewriter.
33. Paint Your Words- Have the students use small paint brushes to paint
their words 5 times each.
34. Soft Flash cards- Use wall paper scraps to make unusual flash cards to
practice the words.
35. Carbon Paper Practice- Have the students use carbon paper (yes, remember
that stuff?) to help them write their words. I got some old NCR scraps from a
printer that worked great and was a lot less messy. The best part: it was free!
36. Close pin Spelling- The teacher cuts out articles of clothing, from
construction paper. The spelling words are then written on the articles of
clothing. The students then reproduce the spelling words by hanging them on the
clothes line with clothespins that have the letters written on them.
37. Salt Box Spelling- The teacher pours salt in the lid of a box (approx.
1/4"). The student then practices the words in the salt.
38. Alpha-Bit Spelling- Students use cereal to reproduce their spelling
words. Don't forget to have a snack with the words you make.
39. Pudding Practice- Try using instant pudding as a finger paint to practice
40. Palm Reading- Motivate your students with palm reading. Write a spelling
word with watercolor marker, (you might want to make sure that this is all right
with the parents first. ) on the palm of each student. Have the students try to
spell each other's words. The students can check their spelling by reading each
41. Pyramid Power- Give your students a weekly spelling assignment with a
different twist. Have students write their words in order of difficulty. They
write their easiest word once at the top of the paper near the middle, the next
easiest twice, and so on. Students will have a pyramid shape when they are
42. Portable Slates- Portable slates make a great spelling game. Plastic
coffee can lids and 1 pound margarine tub lids are used as slates. The teacher
calls out a spelling word and the students write answers with crayons, hold up their slates to be checked, then wipe them off with tissue.
43. Sandy Words- Have students write their spelling words in glue, sprinkle
sand over the glue. The students then trace over the words with their fingers
for practice. They make terrific flash cards!
44. Rainbow Words- Have the students practice words with felt pens, alternate
colors for a rainbow look.
45. Put It In Print- Have the students cut out the letters from a newspaper
to spell the weekly spelling words.
46. Round About Flash cards- Have students decorate a paper pate. Cut a slice
out of the paper plate so it looks like a slice of pie cut out of the plate.
Brad around piece of paper to the back. Then write the weekly spelling words in
the window. The students turn the wheel and practice saying the word.
47. Spell It With Beans- The students use lima beans to spell the weekly
spelling words. The students can also glue the beans in place for a 3-D flash
48. Spelling Squares- Students practice their words on graphing paper. The
students use 1 box for each letter. Have the students figure out which spelling
word is in the shortest, longest, etc. . . .
49. Rainbow chains- Rainbow chains are a great way of keeping track of the
words a student knows. The student writes the words he successfully spelled on
Friday's final test on a construction paper chain. The children love to see
their chains grow!
50. Sandpaper Practice-Students write their words on sheets of sandpaper. The
students can really feel their words!
51. Pipe cleaners - Children use these to form their spelling words.
52. Toothpicks - Same as above.
53. Word search - They can pick 10 of their stumper (high frequency) words to
make up a word search.
54. Alphabet Stamps
55. Word collage - They design a collage using all of their words using
markers, colored pencils etc.
56. Design a word - They pick one word and bubble letter it and design it.
57. Magazine letters - They find the letters in a magazine and glue them onto
58. Painting - Paint their words.
59. Playdough - I have cookie cutters that are letters of the alphabet. The
kids also like to form the dough itself into letters.
60. Magnetic Letters - I bought at a dollar store. Twist-Tie Spelling - use
the twist-ties from the store to form letters to spell the words.