Elementary Spelling Exercises and Activities

Your child learns fundamental spelling skills during elementary school, from simple letter sounds in the lower grades to compound words in the upper grades. You can help boost your elementary schooler's spelling abilities with these activities and games.

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How Do Spelling Skills Develop in Elementary School?

Early in elementary school, your child learns letter sounds, which include consonant and consonant blends, short vowels and digraphs (pairs of letters that create one sound). Once these skills are mastered, he or she learns to spell words with more complex and less common letter sounds and patterns. In upper elementary school, your child masters the rules of spelling, as well as prefixes and suffixes, compound words and homophones. To encourage the development of these skills, add the following spelling games and activities to at-home study.

What Spelling Activities Can I Do with My Child?

Code and Decode

Convert your child's spelling list into Morse code using a chart you can find online. Print out the chart and give it to him so he can decode the words. Alternatively, you could use a numerical code for his spelling words by numbering letters in order from 1-26. Then have him decipher the code to reveal his spelling words.

Create a Collage

Give your child some print materials, like magazines, newspapers and catalogs. Ask her to go through the materials and cut out letters for each of her spelling words. If she finds the whole word, she can cut that out too. Your child can also cut out images related to her spelling words. Then, she can glue her words and pictures on a sheet of construction paper.

Put Together Puzzles

Ask your child to write his spelling words individually on index cards. Cut each index card into 2-4 pieces to make a puzzle, cutting each card in a different pattern. Mix up all the pieces on a table. Set a timer for 10 minutes and challenge your child to put as many puzzles together as he can in that time.

Fill in the Blanks

This activity helps your child practice vocabulary and spelling. Come up with three clues for each of her spelling words. Write out one word at a time on a dry erase board or chalkboard, substituting blank spaces for the majority of the letters. Read off the clues to her and ask her to fill in the blanks to spell out the word.

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