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Elementary kids holding up word study examples in class

Spelling and Word Study

Writing and Spelling: Practical Ideas for Parents

As children learn some letter-sound matches and start to read, they begin to write words and sentences. Seeing how words are spelled helps children in reading and writing.

In the early grades, reading and spelling are learned together. As children become better readers, formal spelling lessons are helpful.

Here are some activities to try:

  • Children can learn to spell some words by sounding out each letter. Short, simple words are best to learn in the beginning. Encourage your children to write stories and to spell words using the sounds the letters make.
  • Make a puzzle word by writing a word on paper and cutting the letters apart. Magnetic and felt letters can also be used for this activity. Mix the letters and have your children spell the word by putting the letters in order.
  • Say a word and have your children repeat the word. Then have them write the letters that match the sounds in the word.
  • Point out that some words are similar. Talk about how hop is similar to top, cop, and mop. Ask your children to say words that are similar to fun, man, pay, and pin.
  • Ask your children to draw a picture of a family activity. Have them write a sentence about it below the picture. Encourage your children to say the sentence and write letters to match the sounds in each word. Then have them read what they wrote.
  • Have your children cut a picture from an old magazine and write a story about the picture.
  • Tell your children a story and have them write their own ending for it.
  • Have your children write letters and thank-you notes to friends and relatives.
  • As your children progress, help them learn the correct spelling of the words they write.
  • Say a word and have your children repeat the word. Then have them write the letters that match the sounds in the word.

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Adapted from: Beginning Reading Instruction: Practical Ideas for Parents. (1996). Texas Education Agency.

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