Grammar and Spelling for Kids

Spelling and grammar skills are important not only for English class, but for all subjects because they allow individuals to communicate effectively. If your child struggles with spelling and grammar or needs a little extra help, then keep reading for more information about state standards for these subjects and how you can help your kids practice their skills at home.

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Overview of Spelling and Grammar for Elementary Kids

Common Core State Standards

The Common Core State Standards stress that spelling and grammar are considered foundational skills, which are important to the development of reading. Kids may be at different levels in their understanding of spelling and grammar concepts, so good readers might need much less practice than struggling readers.

Grades K-2

Kids in kindergarten through 2nd grade will be learning to recognize, spell and properly use those little words that hold our language together, such as a, the, to, of, from, I, is and are. Primary-level kids will also be using knowledge of letters and letter-sound correspondences to figure out how to spell words based on sound. Students in 1st grade will be expected to speak in complete sentences and spell words with increasing accuracy.

In addition, your child will be identifying the correct meaning of a word with multiple meanings, based on the sentence or paragraph in which the word is used. Your child will also be learning to think about the finer distinctions in the meanings of near-synonyms, such as marching, prancing, strutting, strolling and walking.

Your 2nd grade child will continue to learn and practice rules for matching sounds to letters that make up words. They'll also learn that words sharing the same root, such as add and additional, help them figure out the meanings of new words. As they write and speak, 2nd graders will be more attentive to the formal and informal uses of English and will spell most words correctly in their writing.

Grades 3-5

Kids in 3rd grade will be writing and speaking well and following the rules of punctuation and grammar. You can expect your child to be distinguishing the literal and non-literal meanings of words, such as something's fishy and cold shoulder. Kids will be consulting dictionaries to clarify meanings of words, as well as understanding multisyllabic words they encounter in reading.

By 4th grade, your child will be writing effective summaries, book reports and descriptions of characters or events that use correct grammar and punctuation. This includes writing complete sentences with correct capitalization and spelling, as well as relating words with similar meanings (synonyms) and their opposites (antonyms).

By the end of 5th grade, kids will be expanding, combining and reducing sentences to improve meaning, interest and style of writing. Your child will be building knowledge of academic words with an emphasis on those that signal a contrast in ideas or logical relationships, such as on the other hand, similarly and therefore.

Spelling and Grammar Games for Kids

Grammar and spelling are two language arts topics that children don't always love practicing, but games can make these topics more exciting for kids. You can find many free games online. For instance, Grammar Gorillas from has two levels, one that just practices nouns and verbs and one that has all parts of speech. Harcourt School also has grammar games for kids. These games practice parts of speech, tenses, word order and punctuation.

Gamequarium has two types of spelling games. In some of the games, kids can input the words from their weekly spelling lists and the games will let them practice them. In other games, the program generates common spelling words for fun practice. Vocabulary Spelling City is a website that lets you input your child's weekly spelling words and provides practice spelling tests.

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