5th Grade Spelling Lessons and Instruction

It's important for 5th graders to have strong spelling abilities in order to prepare them for middle school academics. Read on for lessons and techniques you can use to instruct 5th graders in spelling.

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How Can I Help 5th Graders Become Better Spellers?

Learn about 5th Grade Language Standards

What's expected of students in 5th grade may vary according to state curriculum standards, although many states adopt the Common Core Standards for reading. It's typical for 5th grade standards to include knowledge of roots and affixes. This knowledge can help 5th graders learn to spell new words. By the end of the 5th grade, most students are expected to have sufficient spelling and vocabulary skills to enter middle school.

Students in 5th grade sometimes have difficulties or become anxious when spelling tests occur. However, encouraging kids to read can improve their spelling skills and also increase confidence and self-esteem when it comes to spelling and learning new words.

Teach Letter Patterns

One of the most common ways to teach spelling is to get children acquainted with letter patterns. For example, the 'shun' sound is typically spelled 'tion'. The 'oi' letter combination is usually used in the middle of words, while 'oy' is more likely to be at the end of a word. When a child has internalized letter combinations such as this, spelling gets easier.

Use Games and Activities

Whether you're teaching spelling to just one child or a group, you can always find games and activities to encourage practice. For a group game, draw a large bull's-eye on a whiteboard. Write various word parts like 'tion' and 'pre' in different sections of the bull's-eye, and divide the students into teams. Tape a line on the floor near the board, and have each person come to the line and throw a sticky ball at the bull's-eye. Each person will earn points for his team by forming full spelling words with the word part he hits, with word parts closer to the center being worth more.

For a more individualized activity, write new spelling words on a board each week to quiz children at random intervals throughout the day. You can also mix up the letters in spelling words to make word scrambles. Search online for custom crossword puzzle generators that offer printable options.

Find Additional Spelling Resources

There are many resources online that may make your lessons more effective. You can find a multitude of 5th grade spelling lists to use in your lessons. Other options include printable flash cards and spelling worksheets.

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