FREE SPELLING PROGRAMS
**Splashes from the River is a free THIRTY LESSON complete spelling course for grades 6-8 that has been made available courtesy of Marie Rackham, author and producer of The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. It includes word lists, exercises, and answers for every lesson.
**Zaner-Bloser's Spelling Connections program for grades 1-8 consists of grade level "books" containing 35 targeted lessons in each with printable worksheets. The lessons are very straightforward. Each focuses on a particular sound, suffix, prefix, subject, or rule. Each lesson also has a "homework" sheet to enrich the lesson. A wonderful program for FREE! To make this offer even better, the lessons (but not the homework sheets) are offered for every grade level with the instructions in SPANISH.
**Garden of Praise offers a 35 unit Bible-based spelling program geared towards lower to middle elementary students. There are instructions on the site for how to conduct the lessons, as well as Bible readings and exercises to complement the word lists.
AAA Spelling is a collection of spelling and vocabulary lists from grades 1-8. Each group of lists has 30 lessons, and comes with a link to practice and play areas on the site. You have to scroll down the page to get to the practice and play area, and the games really will not work for a younger student as they are entirely reading based, but for an older student who likes to quiz himself and work against a time clock, this collection of lists would work. Another bonus feature is that when you click on each word, it automatically goes to the dictionary definition of the word.
Here is a 54 week, phonics-based Spelling curriculum from Spelling City. Each week features a new list of words based on a word family, or is a review of the previous four weeks' words. Featuring handwriting worksheets, printable vocabulary lists, online games, and online tests, this curriculum is ideal for the parent who has a learner who is excited by using technology as a learning tool.
If you want a FREE Root-Word Curriculum to supplement your study of spelling, then try this set of 17 lessons from My Vocabulary. I tried the first set, and while the format is somewhat simple, the lessons are good, and the questions will be challenging enough for first-timers to the concept of studying root words.
** Spelling City is one of the gems of the free web. This link will take you to the Spelling List generating feature for teachers, so the games can be completely individualized. You can't beat the spelling drills, quizzes, and slightly silly games that can be tailored to your own spelling lists. You can enter a list as simple as "cat, hat, bat, mat, fat..." and the study program will read the words to your student and then give the student the option to play a simple animated game using the words or take a quiz. Great for students who love computers and moms who need a few extra hands...Note to teachers: not every game will be feasible for younger students unless they have help, but older students will love them. I like Hang Mouse.
**Awesome! You will have to try this game that is not so much a game as it is a challenge. It is called Spelling Bee, and it is like a virtual spelling bee on your computer. The game pronounces a word for you (so be sure to have your sound turned on) and you must type the correct spelling in. The definition is on the screen to the right, so don't get caught typing in "here" for "hear" or guessing because you don't quite get what the voice is saying. The quiz gets increasingly more difficult as you go, and re-tests you on words you missed. It will even tell you how many letters are incorrect, if you make more than one incorrect guess. This was really cool in my books, and worth a try for a change of pace on a rainy day. This game, teachers, is NOT letting the kids off easy.
**Try Scrabble Sprint online for free. My favorite game of all time is Scrabble. You've got to admit, this challenge is spelling practice at its best (no points for misspelled words here). This one goes fast (it is timed), so you'd better keep on your toes! Did I say that this is a favorite at my house? Try it!!
Here is a link to Letter Blocks, a fun and challenging game from Vocabulary.Co. I don't know if you can really count this as spelling, but you have to be able to spell words to win. Its kind of like Boggle meets Tetris...you have to remove blocks by spelling words before the blocks get stacked too high. I think it's fun. Maybe your kids will, too.
**Merriam-Webster Word Central games. Go here for a triple-header of games, including everyone's Sunday favorite classic pencil game, Jumble for Kids. I love this one. So do my kids.
Oooooh! This link from Merriam-Webster is a goldmine of fun word games. From Jumbles to Daily Crosswords, this site promises oodles of fun on a rainy day, and offers practice using those word skills to boot. Mom, can't I play games for spelling today? Sure, honey, why not?!
**Here's one I just found and had lots of fun playing (my husband did, too). It's WHOMP! at Family Entertainment Center. Whomp! Is pretty much like Boggle, only you are competing against an opponent. You get to choose a monster to be (Nessie, Bigfoot, Abominable Snowman, Fact Monster---haha) and then you do a three round competition against the other monsters. There are six levels, from "Too Easy" to "Impossible." It's good for developing thinking skills, as well as spelling.
We can't stop the spelling game links without a link for a trial version of traditional Boggle online, courtesy of Hasbro.com.
For a twist, try the Wordtwist version of the classic game, using a traditional 4 x 4 board, or a new 5 x 5 version of the board with new rules. Watch out, not only is it harder to find words on the 5 x 5 board because no three letter words count, but at the end of your game, you will see a rating on the difficulty of your word choices and where your score compares to others' on a Bell curve...hmmmm.
For those students whose main interest is games and not spelling lists, here's a direct link to SpellingCity and their collection of educational (and fun) games so you can peruse them yourself at your leisure.
Fun Brain offers a Spell Check game with word lists at both "easy" and "hard" levels. This is a very simplistic quiz device: it asks you to choose which of four choices is spelled incorrectly and to type in the correct spelling, then checks your response and keeps score. It might be a bit tedious for younger users, but it would be good practice for standardized testing. It's kind of interesting to see if you can spell as well as you thought you could!
A Daily Buzzword. This Word of the Day from Merriam-Webster is appropriate for younger students. Put this one on your toolbar and they can click on it every day.
Superkids provides another word of the day to increase your 4th-6th grader's vocabulary.
For your older students, A.W.A.D. provides A-Word-a-Day, usually with weekly themes. These tend to be very ecclectic words, so they are great for the very creative student.
Check out this site's Vocabulary Word of the Day. I usually like the word choices. Some of the other tools listed on this site are limited trials and cost to continue past a certain number of uses (such as the Virtual Thesaurus, which is way cool, but I'm going for free here), so be aware.
All About Spelling has compiled extensive lists of commonly used words for the 1st through the 7th grades. This might be useful if you want to see if you child is generally spelling on par with other students their own grade level, or the lists could be used as word lists for a spelling bee.
Time4Learning is a paid site, but if you scroll down, you will see word lists for First Grade spellers. Look to the left and you will see links to lists for Pre-K through 8th grade.
On your way to the National Spelling Bee? Check out these 507 commonly messpelled words. Oops!
100 Words Most Commonly Misspelled from Easy Fun School.
Here's a Root Word Puzzle of the Day for you to try.
I find that especially in the upper grades, a study of Latin and Greek roots helps a student spell and define words more accurately. Just knowing how words and languages are connected gives a student more power to decode unfamiliar words in any situation...think SATs, Spelling Bees, or reading higher level texts. Here are some sites with lists of Latin and Greek Roots:
One way to do a word study using Greek and Latin Roots is to ask a student to pick one or two roots, define them, then list as many words that they can think of that have the root word in them. They should then define those words so they can see the similarities in spelling and meaning. You can ask the student to use the words in sentences if you feel that will help their understanding. This step can be written or narrated to you. For visual-kinesthetic learners, you can ask them to use a web diagram and write the root word in the center of it, then the related words outside of it to show the connection. You can also have your student write the root words on one side of a 3X5 card spiral flip deck and keep this handy for a quick review. They can also write the root on one 3X5 card and the meaning on another and use these cards to match them, or even to play Memory or Go Fish! You might also have the student find several roots, Greek, Latin, or both, that mean very close to the same thing so they are familiar with all forms of the words.
If you want a FREE Root-Word Curriculum, then try this set of 17 lessons from My Vocabulary. I tried the first set, and while the format is somewhat simple, the lessons are good, and the questions will be challenging enough for first-timers to the concept of studying root words.
Here's one from Superkids for older students who need their word of the day as SAT vocabulary practice.
Here is a set of 12 lessons for the industious student who wants to get in some extra study time for the SAT/ACTs .
**Awesome! You will have to try this game that is not so much a game as it is a challenge. It is called Spelling Bee, and it is like a virtual spelling bee on your computer. I know that Vocabulary is the beig deal for SATs, but because knowledge of root words and definitions helps so much with spelling, I really feel that this is something that will help get you ready for the big test. The game pronounces a word for you (so be sure to have your sound turned on) and you must type the correct spelling in. The definition is on the screen to the right, so don't get caught typing in "here" for "hear" or guessing because you don't quite get what the voice is saying. The quiz gets increasingly more difficult as you go, and re-tests you on words you missed. It will even tell you how many letters are incorrect, if you make more than one incorrect guess.
Here is the main Vocabulary.com site. On the upper right corner, you will find a vocabulary word and an opportunity to test your VQ (vocabulary quotient). It can be a challenge, so put on your thinking caps! This same page has their Vocabulary Word of the Day, which is great, too.
Homeschoolshare has an excellent phonics rules and spelling lapbook you can access for free. Your hands-on learners will really like making this one, and they will have even more fun showing it off to everyone who visits your home once it is finished! Make sure you go to the homeschoolshare.com site when you have time and explore a bit. They have loads of good freebies.
Spelling it Right is a website designed to help your child learn to spell correctly. Filled with good advice, exercises, and word lists, this site can perhaps answer some questions about how to study and how to memorize difficult words.
Need a little help with your spelling? Check out this site. The site for Cuesta College has an excellent compilation of word study procedures, spelling generalizations, irregular spellings, and more.