Elementary Spelling Words for Early Learners

 What are Elementary Spelling Words?

Elementary spelling words are basic words that children need to learn early so that they can achieve success and build confidence.

Many common elementary spelling words contain silent consonants, irregular vowels, or other tricky spellings.  Students often need a little extra practice reading, writing and spelling these words. We will leave the tricky spelling until the child has learnt how to spell three letter phonetic words correctly.

Pre-primer: a, and, big, can, goI, in, is, it, me, not, red, run, up, we. To and the are visual spellings but I tend to make cards for these two words at this stage until the children are able to write them.

I have coloured the words in red that we are going to work with throughout this session. These will be the words that are easily sounded.

Teaching spelling in the early years need not be complicated. In the previous article I emphasized the importance of teaching Phonological Awareness well. In that article we discussed the use of syllable cards and blocks to represent the sounds-http://letterboxlearntoread.com/spelling-with-pre-schoolers/

Spelling with cards

This step in our journey is going to be adding letter cards to the sounds that the child has placed on the syllable card. This activity presupposes that the child has  basic sound knowledge. If you have been using the introductory letter sound products, your child would at least be ready to make some words. You could make nonsense words and real words with the sounds/letters that the child knows.I have listed the introductory package below in case some children have NOT learnt the alphabet sounds.

Introductory Package:


The majority of children are visual learners. That means that they learn best when there are pictures to help them understand what they are being taught. The pictures in the introductory package support the CD presentation. As an example, Active Apple is personalised so that the children will enjoy the experience of learning the letter name and the sound as well as learning new vocabulary.

Follow the introduction of the sounds with the sequence on the CD coverLetterBox – New File (2)

Save the A4 pictures to a computer or they can be  saved on a USB and then it is possible to project them on the computer when the child is learning.  Once  a sound has been introduced and learnt  print off the picture in A4 and laminate and place on the wall as a reference. Eventually there will be a whole wall chart related to sounding.

The next step is to make certain that the child continues to consolidate the letters and sounds. I have made a set of cards that you can access to complete this task. This pack will be the cards to use when making the spelling words.

We all know that each word must have a vowel sound. To emphasize this point I have coloured the vowels and some letter y cards (because at times y acts like a vowel when it says the sound, /e/ or /I/ at the end of a word. The child will easily recognise that if there is NO red card, the spelling is not correct.

Red vowel alphabet cards PDF

Here is the link that will direct you to the steps in the spelling process. http://letterboxlearntoread.com/naplan-spelling/

Follow all the steps in the link above and then stretch out the words and have the child place the letter cards below the rocks/blocks that are places to indicate the number of sounds in the words.

When you want the child to spell words like go and me, sound out the word and tell the child to listen to what he hears and then to find that letter. So, he would find the letter card for the sounds, /g/ and then the letter card for o.

Begin Sentences

Once these words have been made the child can then begin to write little sentences with these words. I use ordinary pictures or the child could draw pictures for the names of items.

For example:   I go to the box. I would have the child write the letter that starts the word, box and then draw a picture of a box. Some children will be able to write the whole word, box once they know the sounds.

Click the link and buy now.http://letterboxlearntoread.com/products-2/introductory-package/

Have a great time spelling with your child.

Ann Foster tutors children who have difficulties in reading, writing and spelling.

Contact Ann on 0414340883 or email letterboxdelivers@hotmail.com

Website: www.letterboxlearntoread.com

Ann holds the following qualifications:

Diploma of Teaching

Bachelor of Educational Studies

Master of Education ( Special Needs)

Master of Education (Counselling & Guidance)