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Spelling Ideas for Pairs

written by: •edited by: Beth Taylor•updated: 6/23/2011

Your English students need to practice their spelling. This activity lets students work together in pairs to pronounce and spell each vocabulary word and to correct their own errors.

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    Reviewing Spelling

    Many students struggle with spelling these days. The following exercise lets students work together in interactive pairs to practice spelling target vocabulary words.

    Prepare Spelling Lists Prepare Materials & Lists

    This activity can be done the day after you present the new spelling or vocabulary words. Print out about fifteen copies of the words listed in a random order. Be sure to number each word, no matter what order you put them in.

    Next, on a separate piece of paper, type out each letter in the alphabet five times. Use a large font and leave extra space in between each letter. Make fifteen copies of this paper. Since students will work in pairs, you will only need half of the materials.

    Cut each letter out and put them into the envelope. These will be the manipulatives that students use to spell the words.

    Laminate & Save

    Laminate the pages before cutting anything. Cut the letters out once they have been laminated. When you are done with the preparation for this activity, you should have fifteen copies of the target vocabulary written out and numbered and fifteen envelopes filled with individual letters cut out.

    Provide instructions on how the activity works

    Break your students up into groups of two. Pass out a word list and an envelope to each group. Explain to the class that one person will be reading the words and the other will be spelling them out using the letters in the envelope. Suggest that students put their letters in order.

    The person reading the words can repeat a word several times, but he can not help his partner with the spelling. When all of the words have been spelled the student who was not reading is to look at the list of words and correct any errors made. Now the partners switch roles.

    Check student work and monitor for participation

    The entire activity should take about ten to fifteen minutes. Make sure you are walking around the room to keep students on task and to help if need be. Make it clear that you do not want any cheating and that the point of this activity is to let students practice their spelling. Errors are okay as long as they are corrected at the appropriate time.

    This is a productive exercise because each student in class is actively participating. It can be used for any vocabulary or spelling list throughout the year.

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    Free Spelling Lists,

    Practice Ideas,

    Photo credit:

    Kellie Hayden