This article is written by Catherine Mary - an English teacher who creates and maintains Eco ESL website.
A fundamental skill in learning, understanding, and speaking English is spelling. When students know how to spell words, they have a stronger grasp on how to pronounce, read, and write words. This is crucial for their English development. For both ESL students and pupils in primary school, it is essential to give the skill of spelling a strong foundation.
There are many ways to make spelling interesting and engaging. Moving away from rote learning words and bland spelling tests, teachers have the potential to get creative with ways they help students spell. Words, letters, and spelling can become much more exciting in the ESL and primary school classroom with some of these handy tips and tricks.
Students are more engaged when their brain and hands are doing something together. For younger learners especially, it can be much more productive to visually see the letters they are spelling and have something physical to hold. This taps into kinaesthetic learning and engages them on another level.
Spelling puzzles are a great idea for this. These puzzles can involve any type of picture and the letters featured on each piece. Students need to join together the picture and put the words in order at the same time. These zoo animal spellers are a great example of this. They are perfect to use as a warm up exercise or a brain break activity. Spelling puzzle using any word and picture are easy to create and go a long way in a classroom setting.
Consonant Vowel Consonant spelling exercises are highly useful. These are great for sight word practice, sound it out spelling, and helping students identify the vowel sound in the middle of the word.
These simple flashcards with an attractive visual piece can help students with spelling. The letters are designed in block format so students can spell them out individually. It is also important to help students hear the sound each letter makes in CVC spelling.
Using CVC words as a basis again, it is good to expose students to a range of words that have the same beginning and ending. This exercise helps students to understand the important of vowels in spelling. Focusing on the way different words can be created using different vowels, this exercise is also good for kinaesthetic and visual learning.
As students place the vowel in the middle of each card, they can try and sound out the word. Guide students to hear the sound the word makes with different vowels and help them decide if it is a real word or not. This activity can be extended by writing down the words created. This helps students to further visualise the spelling words.
Get creative and DIY
All these spelling exercises and activities were created on recycled materials. Spelling can be fun and exciting for students as well as helpful for the planet! Find more ideas and inspiration on how to create your own spelling activities at www.ecoesl.com