Fresh Ideas for Those Boring Ol’ Spelling Words

by Kelli Lewis

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Looking for some creative ways to help your children learn their spelling words?  Need something new next time your child has spelling homework and you’re tired of telling them to write them each repeatedly?

Here are two unique ideas that I have seen implemented in a few elementary classrooms:

Four Times Each

Okay, I know. Write the word four times…at first it seems boring, right? But here’s the catch. Your child will still write the word several times, only with a little more excitement! Create a simple chart with 10 rows (or however many spelling words your child has) and four columns (or you may want to create more on our own, after you see where I’m going).  The columns should each have one of the following listed at the very top: pencil, colored pencil, marker, crayon.  Have your child write each word under the particular type of writing utensil, in that utensil.  For instance, if the first word is “cat” then you child will write “cat” in pencil, under the pencil column; they will write “cat” in colored pencil, under the colored pencil column; they will write “cat” in marker, under the marker column; and they will write “cat” in crayon, under the crayon column.  Click here for a printable sheet to use!

Feel free to get even more creative and add more columns.  You could even put colors in the columns (red, yellow, blue, etc.) and allow the child a choice in which type of writing utensil is used, as long as it is the correct color stated in the column.

Spelling Pyramids (or Spelling Stairs)

Have your child make pyramids out of each of their spelling words.  Let’s say, again, your first spelling word is “cat.” Start by first writing the first letter of the word “cat.”  Then underneath that, write the first and second letter of the word “cat”.  Underneath that, you then write the first, second, and third letter of the word “cat.”  Obviously “cat” only has three letters so you’re then done with that word.  If it had more letters, you would continue on in the same way.  You can have your child make as many pyramids as needed.  Here is a quick example of this:


Hopefully these ideas will help you breathe new life into your weekly spelling routine!

Kelli Lewis is an Early Childhood Education graduate student at the University of Georgia who often shares her wonderful ideas on A Learning Experience. (Lucky us!)



Filed under Academic Success, Spelling, Study Skills, Test Prep, Writing

7 responses to “Fresh Ideas for Those Boring Ol’ Spelling Words

  1. Peggy Hernandez

    Thank you for another way to add a little color to spelling homework. I have my students complete the pyramids each week , (they love them). I also have them write their words 5 times. But, I love the way you said to have them write in pencil, marker, crayon, etc. to spice it up a little. Thanks for a great idea. I will start this next week.
    Peggy Hernandez

  2. Jennifer

    These are both great ideas–I am always trying to come up with fun ways for my daughter to practice her spelling words. Another variation is called “rainbow spelling” and you take each word and have them write the word is several different colors on top of each other. You can choose 3, 4 or 5 colors. For example, they would write the word cat in yellow, and then on top of that they would write it in blue and then in green. For her, rainbow spelling is not as “boring” as just writing her words 3 times each….and she gets to choose the colors!

  3. Jacqueline Moore

    The ideas you have are just great I am a pre-k teacher and we are already using the writing words with crayons,markers and pencils. The pre-k’s seem to love it seems to make learning sight words a little easier and the parents thinks it a great idea also. This not only help us with words but also colors.

  4. Pamela

    I love the idea of using different writing utensils – my daughter already spells each letter of each word with a different color – this will be an even better way for her to learn each word. Thank you!

  5. Priscella

    Thank you so much for the wonderful idea of writing spelling words 4 different ways! I teach special need students and all of them have the academic goal of learning how to write their name. What a wonderful way this will be to motivate them to practice writing their names while adding some fun and creativity to their work!

  6. Susan

    These are excellant ideas the can be used with different age groups. We will be using these throughout the year. Susan

  7. ecossick

    Great comments- I LOVE all the ideas everyone shared!
    This week’s comment winner is Priscella. Congrats on earning a $20 School Box gift card, Priscella! (Hey, everyone, check out the new posts this coming week for another chance to comment and win. :)