Children often come home from school with spelling word lists lamenting the fact they must learn these seemingly arbitrary words by the end of the week. But spelling is an important skill for the understanding of language conventions and structures.
Spelling Word Lists
Spelling List Resources
The International Reading Association and National Council of Teachers of English consider spelling important enough that it is included in the 12 Standards meant to guide educators. To help educators and parents, we have spelling word lists and activities for students of all ages.
- Teaching Spelling in 1st Grade - Find vocabulary and spelling words for your first graders from easy to harder words. Explore games to play with students using the vocabulary words.
- Teaching Spelling in 2nd Grade - Explore the types of lists 2nd graders should be focusing on along with the importance of spelling words.
- 3rd Grade Spelling Words and Activity Ideas - This offers a free list covering easy to hard spelling words of various letter counts. Get ideas for practicing and using spelling words in the classroom.
- 5th Grade Dolch Sight Words - Get a free list of the 220 Dolch sight words used in 5th grade. Get games to play with the 5th grade Dolch spelling words.
- 5th Grade Spelling Words to Practice - Includes lists of spelling sight words along with compound spelling words for 5th graders. You can also find a list of tricky spelling words 5th graders might encounter and example sentences.
- Common 6th Grade Spelling Words - Explore a variety of different lists to offer at the beginning, middle, and end of 6th grade. See how those words are used in sentences.
- 7th Grade Spelling Words and Activity Ideas - Get word lists you can use for language arts, math, and science. Explore ways to use those lists in activities.
- 8th Grade Spelling Words for Students to Practice - Find free resource including spelling words covering language arts, math, and social sciences.
- Spelling Bee Study Words - Dive into beginner, intermediate, and hard spelling bee words. Get their spellings and meanings.
- High School Level Spelling Words - Explore different lists of words found in a high school classroom. Find tips for studying high school level spelling words.
Creation of Spelling Lists
Learn the different ways to create a spelling word list:
Based on Reading Materials
A large number of spelling word lists are created based upon current reading materials or literature. Words important to the comprehension of reading material are used as spelling words in middle and upper elementary classrooms, while lower elementary lists often consist of everyday words or simpler words used in beginner readers.
Based on Spelling Rules
Spelling lists are also generated from commonly known spelling rules. These rules, such as "i before e except after c," follow a logical pattern. The rules, patterns, and exceptions are all used within the same word list to reinforce the concept. Creating a spelling list using suffixes or prefixes is another example of a pattern-based list.
Based on Personal Use
Word lists may be generated by the students' writing itself. As a teacher notices commonly misspelled words, he or she takes note and either adds currently misspelled words to an existing list or creates a new spelling lesson.
Spelling word lists are generated from other subjects, such as science, sociology, philosophy, or health. The integration of subjects enhances both educational areas, as students are immersed in the topic at hand.
Based on Curriculum
Spelling word lists can come from a program or curriculum. Spelling books and workbooks or web-based spelling programs are used to help teach students grade-level appropriate spelling words. Each program has its own set of criteria upon which words are chosen for lessons. Educators evaluate the program before adding it to the current curriculum.
Spelling Word List Practice
Learning spelling words can be difficult for students who have trouble memorizing rules. Spelling games, activities, and printable worksheets help reinforce the words. Writing out the words multiple times also helps students memorize difficult words.
Comprehension of rules may be more difficult for parents to teach students at home, so speak with a teacher or tutor to figure out the best way to help your child. If you wish to purchase a tutorial program for your home computer, get recommendations from your child's teacher to find one that meets the specific learning needs of your child.