Spelling Teaching Resources
and Lesson Plans

Free Spelling Teaching Resources and Lesson Plans

FREE - Click on the link below to download this free
spelling teaching resources bulletin board display banner:

Spelling Teaching Resources:
Spell It The Right Way!







Welcome to my Spelling Lesson Plans page.

Spelling Teaching Resources For Elementary School Teachers

On this spelling lesson plans page,
you will find information about the following topics:

  • Is spelling an important skill to have in order to be a successful writer?
  • What are the primary goals of a classroom spelling program?
  • Evaluating your spelling program.

Thumb Tacks

The 5 components of my spelling program:

  1. Learning high frequency words.
  2. Learning common spelling rules.
  3. Reviewing commonly misspelled words.
  4. Using weekly word lists to build up knowledge of important words.
  5. Students' personal lists of frequently misspelled words.

Thumb Tacks

I hope that the spelling teaching resources and information
on this page assist you in building your own spelling program.

Please be reminded that the information on this page is my own personal opinion.
I have created this spelling teaching resources page because I have received numerous
letters from teachers asking me to share the successful spelling strategies that
I have used with my own students during my 22 years as a classroom teacher.

Spelling Teaching Resources Block Letters


Is spelling an important skill to
have in order to be a successful writer?

blue bullet point Learning Spelling Blocks Do you believe that teachers should include spelling lessons as a part of their language arts curriculum?

blue bullet point If you answered "no" to this question, please consider the following:

  • Poor spelling creates a bad impression because it's the first thing a reader notices.
  • Anxiety about spelling inhibits a child's writing, especially their choice of words.
  • Examiners, teachers, and prospective employers often place undue weight on spelling.
  • Even with the advancement of computers and using a spell checker, students can not rely on spell checkers to correct all of their spelling errors for them (see the poem below for an example).

"Knowing how to spell the often used words in everyday writing is,
and will continue to be, one quality society expects of a literate person."

~Rebecca Sitton


"It is possible to teach spelling and still
remain true to the philosophy of whole language."

~Regie Routman


Thumb Tacks

blue bullet pointIn the years of rapid technology development, many computer users have expressed that they don't need to learn how to spell because the spell checker in their computer will solve their spelling mistakes.

blue bullet pointThe poem that follows illustrates the problem that homophones, and other spelling quirks, can present for the spell checker:

Owed to My Spell Checker

Spell It Right Graphic

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea see
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait aweigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

~Author Unknown



What are the primary goals
of a classroom spelling program?

Spelling Teaching Resources Scrabble Letters

blue bullet point I believe that teaching spelling skills and strategies is part of teaching our students to become proficient writers. It is not the most important skill in the writing process, but I feel that spelling needs to be taught as a part of the language arts curriculum.

blue bullet point On this page, you will find spelling teaching resources and information to assist you in building your own spelling program.

Spelling Lesson Plans Scrabble Letters

blue bullet point The primary goals of a classroom spelling program should be:

  • to recognize that spelling is a developmental process and inventive spelling is a natural step in the process
  • to develop your students' spelling mastery of high-use words, the words they use most often in their writing
  • to introduce students to spelling strategies that lead to spelling success
  • to integrate spelling with listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking
  • to teach spelling and proofreading skills within the writing process
  • to provide daily writing opportunities across the curriculum to build students' personal spelling word banks


Evaluating Your Spelling Program:

Spelling Lesson Plans for Elementary School Teachers

blue bullet pointConsider the following recommendations as you evaluate a spelling program and the spelling teaching resources that you use:

    Learning Blocks for Teaching Spelling
  • Spelling words used the most frequently in writing should be the words studied by students.
  • Spelling words should be presented in list form, rather than in sentences or paragraphs.
  • Use a pretest when introducing a list of spelling words. Then, each student only needs to study the words that are shown to be difficult for him or her. The test-study-test method is superior to the study-test method when working with most students.
  • Under your direction, allow students to self-correct their own test, as this is an important factor in learning to spell.
  • Spelling words should be words that are already known and used in reading by your students. It should not be necessary to spend time on word meanings.
  • The practice of having a student copy a word several times in quick succession has little or no value in learning how to spell.
  • Invented spellings play an important role in a student's spelling development. Once a word has been introduced and practiced, however, the student should be expected to use the standard spelling of that word.
  • Spelling ability is defined as the ability to write a word rather than to spell it orally. You should not formally assess students on their oral spelling skills.
  • When you are teaching spelling rules to your students, chose rules that apply to a large number of words and that have few exceptions.
  • Spelling words should be presented and written in print form. The visual image of the word in print will match what everyday reading requires, reading words in printed text. The best time to practice cursive handwriting is during dictation exercises and actual writing activities.


Balance In Spelling Curriculum blue bullet point With a teaching degree in learning disabilities and 22 years of teaching experience, I have come across a lot of spelling programs and spelling teaching resources.

  1. I have been in schools where my principal has refused to allow teachers to use a spelling program, and she felt that spelling skills would develop naturally in our students.
  2. I have seen teachers use spelling programs that spend hours during the school week on teaching spelling through drill and practice.

blue bullet point I have found that there is a happy balance between these two extremes.

blue bullet point Many of the parents that I have talked with have felt that spelling has been neglected in recent years, and that this neglect shows up time and again in their child's everyday writing.

blue bullet point Spelling instruction should take up approximately one hour of instructional time during the school week and should be broken into time slots throughout the week.

Spelling Teaching Resources for Teachers

The five key components that I focus
on during my spelling lessons are:

  1. Learning high frequency words.
  2. Learning common spelling rules.
  3. Reviewing commonly misspelled words.
  4. Using weekly word lists to build up knowledge of important words.
  5. Students' personal lists of frequently misspelled words.

Thumb Tacks

Below are spelling teaching resources that you can view that I have
created in focusing on these five areas of spelling instruction.

Many of these spelling teaching resources are free downloads
that you can download and use immediately.


Thumb Tacks

1. High Frequency Word Lists

Free Spelling Teaching Resources for
Fry 1000 Instant Words and Dolch Sight Words:

After students have mastered reading their high frequency sight words, they should also be able to spell these words correctly in their own writing.

Learning Fry Sight Words Using Free Flashcards for Students and Teachers
Above: Example from Fry's 1000 Instant Words (words 425-436)

Sight words are the most frequent words that students use in their writing, so it is important for children to learn the correct spelling of these key words.

Below are spelling teaching resources for the
Fry 1000 instant words and Dolch sight word lists.




Free Fry Sight Words Flashcards and Word List Group 2 The Fry 1000 Instant Words are a list of the most common words used for teaching reading, writing, and spelling.

These high frequency words should be recognized instantly by readers. Fry's sight words are a list of the most common words in English ranked in order of frequency.


Click on the links below to download these
free spelling teaching resources for Fry's sight words.




Dolch Picture Nouns Free Flashcards for Teachers The Dolch Sight Words are a list of spelling teaching resources of the most frequently used words in the English language.

These sight words make up 50 to 70 percent of any general text.


The Dolch list contains 220 words that have been arranged by levels of advancing difficulty, as well as a list of 95 Dolch nouns.

Click on the links below to download these
free spelling teaching resources for Dolch's sight word words.



2. Teaching Common Spelling Rules

Spelling Teaching Resources for
Common Spelling Rules:

Teach and Learn Common Spelling Rules There are some spelling generalizations, or rules, that can help your students remember unique spelling features.

By teaching your students these common spelling rules, you are helping them to generalize the concept of one spelling rule that will apply to many words.

Teachers should focus on teaching spelling rules that apply to a large number of words, and that have very few exceptions to the rule.

The following spelling rules apply to a large number of words and have very few exceptions to the rule. I teach these 7 rules to my own students.

    Education Blocks Spelling Teaching Resources
  1. Doubling Rule: Some words double the final consonant when adding a suffix that begins with a vowel. (ex. get + ing = getting)
  2. Final E Rule: Some words drop the final E when adding a suffix that begins with a vowel. (ex. have + ing = having)
  3. Y Rule: Some words change Y to I when adding a suffix not beginning with I. (ex. try + ed = tried)
  4. Changing Singular Nouns to Plural Nouns By Adding S: Most nouns form the plural by adding S. (ex. dog + s = dogs)
  5. Changing Singular Nouns to Plural Nouns By Adding ES: Nouns ending with S, SS, SH, CH, and X form the plural by adding ES. (ex. inch + es = inches)
  6. Changing Singular Nouns that End in Y to Plural Nouns: Some nouns form the plural by changing Y to I when adding ES. (ex. country + es = countries)
  7. Changing Singular Nouns that End in F or FE to Plural Nouns: Some nouns form the plural by changing F or FE to V when adding ES. (ex. half + es = halves)


3. Commonly Misspelled Words

Free Spelling Teaching Resources for
Commonly Misspelled Words:

Below you will find some free spelling teacher resources for words that students commonly misspell.

Girl Student Learning ABCs These spelling teacher resources are not leveled by grade, but instead are lists of words that students often misspell throughout all of the primary school grade levels.


4. Weekly Spelling Lists

Spelling Teaching Resources:
Using weekly word lists to build
up knowledge of important words.

I believe that students should be given a weekly list of spelling words to learn and master.

This list should contain between 10 - 25 words, depending upon the grade level that you teach. Students who find spelling challenging, should be given shorter lists to master each week.

Elementary Student Learning Spelling Rules On Monday, students should be given a pretest of the words on this list. They should grade their own paper, marking or highlighting the words that they need to practice during the school week.

On Wednesday, you should assess all of the students in your classroom on this word list. Again, students should grade their own papers. Students who miss words on this day, should continue practicing the words that they missed.

On Friday, only assess the students who did not show mastery of their spelling words on Wednesday.

As you select the spelling words for your weekly lists, you must first consider your students.


I consider the following when I am selecting spelling words for a list:

  • high frequency words
  • commonly misspelled words
  • spelling rule that I am currently reviewing with my students

For my Grade 4 and 5 students, I compile a list of 20 spelling words:
  • 6 high frequency words
  • 7 commonly misspelled words
  • 7 words from a spelling rule that is currently being reviewed.


5. Students' Personal Lists of Frequently Misspelled Words

Individualized writing and
spelling conferences with students:

During the writing process, students should check their own work for spelling errors and keep a personal list of words that they need to learn how to spell correctly. This should be on-going throughout the year and a part of your writing program.

Periodically, you should give individual informal and formal spelling assessments to your students based on their own personal lists of words that they commonly misspell.

Teacher and Student Creative Writing Conference I administer these informal and formal spelling assessments while I am having individual writing conferences with my students. During a writing conference, I have students get out their personal lists of misspelled words.

During this time, I help my students decide if they need to add any new words to their lists. Next, I have students practice spelling a few words that are on their personal lists.

My students enjoy this individual attention that is directed at their own spelling ability.

These informal writing and spelling conferences work equally well with students of lower and higher spelling abilities.







Thank you for visiting my Spelling Teaching Resources page.

I hope that the resources and information on this
page assist you in building your own spelling program.

Please be reminded that the information on this page is my own personal opinion.
I have created this spelling teaching resources page because I have received numerous
letters from teachers asking me to share the successful spelling strategies that
I have used with my own students during my 22 years as a classroom teacher.

Please be sure to check out the other pages on Unique
Teaching Resources
for a large variety of fun lesson plan activities
that will engage your students in learning and save you valuable time.

Heidi McDonald

Creator and Website Manager
Unique Teaching Resources


Engage Your Students In Learning


Solution Graphics



Click here to leave this page: Spelling Teaching Resources
and go to my home page: Unique Teaching Resources

Return to Unique Teaching Resources Home Page



Unique Teaching Resources Facebook Page


Click here to follow Heidi and Unique Teaching Resources on Pinterest!



[?] Subscribe To This Site

XML RSS
follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines


green underline


Templates For Fun Book Report Projects For Elementary School Teachers

- Cheeseburger Templates
  (shown above)
- 25+ Book Report Templates


orange underline


Fun Roald Dahl Lesson Plans and Group Projects

- Charlie & the Choc. Factory
- The Giraffe & the Pelly & Me
- The Enormous Crocodile
- ESIO TROT


green underline


Fun Book Report Projects For Favorite Books

- The Giving Tree
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- First Day Jitters
- Stellaluna
- Other Favorite Books


orange underline


Click here to join Unique Teaching Resources on Facebook!

When you join our
Facebook group, you will have access to download 2 free
"thank you gifts" ($7.50 value).

To download these 2 free gifts:
- Go to our Facebook page.
- Click the page's "Like" button.
- Click "Your Free Gift!" box.
- Download free book report.
- Download free sticker chart.

To join our fun
Facebook community
of over 50,000 teachers,
click the "Like" button below.



Click here to join us on Facebook!


green underline


Click here to join us on Pinterest!


orange underline


Follow Unique Teaching Resources On Twitter!


green underline


Thank you for visiting Unique Teaching Resources!


orange underline



green underline

Click here to see the items in your shopping cart.

orange underline


Templates For Fun Book Report Projects For Elementary School Teachers

- Cheeseburger Templates
  (shown above)
- 25+ Book Report Templates


green underline





orange underline


Fun Roald Dahl Lesson Plans and Group Projects

- Charlie & the Choc. Factory
- The Giraffe & the Pelly & Me
- The Enormous Crocodile
- ESIO TROT


green underline


Ideas For Fun Book Report Projects For Elementary School Students

- Character Body Project
  (shown above)
- 25+ Book Report Projects


orange underline


Fun Book Report Projects For Favorite Books

- The Giving Tree
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- First Day Jitters
- Stellaluna
- Other Favorite Books


green underline


Sign up below to receive my free monthly newsletter Teachers Have Class!


orange underline


Teacher Testimonials About Unique Teaching Resources

I have been buying your unique teaching resources for a few years now, and I just love them! My students are much more engaged in doing book reports as well as other creative writing assignments because of you. Thank you.

Name: Marla (Grade 4)
From: New Jersey, U.S.A.


orange underline

Hi Heidi. I just want t say that my class is year one in Australia and they just love all of your work. We use your book report projects religiously and it has made my teaching and the students' learning improve by about 100%. The students just love it. Thank you so much for your help.

Name: Catherine (Year 1)
From: Australia.


green underline

Hi there! I just found your website through Pinterest, and I am looking forward to using your book reports that I just bought to help motivate my fifth grade students! Thanks for putting these out there. I'm a relatively new teacher and need all the help I can get!

Name: Noell (Grade 5)
From: Illinois, U.S.A.


orange underline

What a delightful and informative site!!! I'm having so much fun browsing and I've been teaching for 32 years!!! You can always teach an old dog new tricks, especially if you're creative and making learning FUN!!! You must be a VERY SPECIAL TEACHER ... how lucky your students and parents are!!!

Name: Kathy (Grade 4/5)
From: Oregon, U.S.A.


green underline

I stumbled across your website over the weekend and I'm SO glad I did! Some great ideas and an extra thank you for the UK spellings! I bought the back to school pencils, punctuation puppies, Willy Wonka group project and the characters! I think these are great resources and even though it's the summer holidays, I've been into school to get my display paper up and have put up the title banners - they look brilliant! Thank you!

Name: Jemma (Year 4)
From: UK


orange underline

Heidi, I just had to write and let you know that your website has helped me create the most awesome author study of Roald Dahl's books. My students loved completing the big animal shaped projects you designed for The Enormous Crocodile, Esio Trot, and The Giraffe, and the Pelly and Me. For the final project, they had so much fun writing and drawing about the characters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory using your Willy Wonka Factory project. Thanks for sharing your scrumdiddlyumptious ideas !

Name: Jennifer (Grade 4)
From: California, U.S.A.


green underline

I feel so fortunate to have found your website and I have referred several of my co-workers to your website. Just for the month of January, there were three teachers displaying your book reports. I had the trophy reports, my neighbor to the left had the computer reports, and my neighbor to the right had the birthday cake reports. Thank you so very much for all of your work!

Name: Mary (Grade 4)
From: New York, U.S.A.


orange underline

I just wanted to say thank you for the most amazing teaching resources that I have ever come across in my thirty years of teaching. I have used many of your book report sets this year and my students absolutely loved them. What was particularly pleasing was seeing some of my reluctant readers (especially the boys) really wanting to read books and complete the activities. Keep up the great work!

Name: Margaret (Grade 5)
From: Victoria, Australia


green underline


Teachers Make A Difference


orange underline



Famous Teacher Appreciation Day Quotes

Click the "Like" button
below if you want to
join our Facebook group
of over 50,000+
dedicated teachers.


green underline