What is it?
A spelling / vocabulary program of small word study activities. A friend gave me a copy of a basic spelling contract which I adapted for use in my classes; it has been further developed over the last few semesters with feedback from students. Ideally the program is self-directed: it can be set as homework. I’ve also used word study as a regular activity in the first five minutes of lesson while I set up.
Adapt the included checklist and spelling activities to suit your program.
How it works:
The process I use:
- I develop new vocabulary words each fortnight, taken usually from the content of the class or the novel we are reading.
- I do ‘Have A Go’, a mock test where I read the words aloud, and students give them a try. This is to allow students to connect the way a word is pronounced with its written form.
- Students copy the words into their book.
- Students complete a worksheet or activities where students match vocab to definitions (matching or crosswords work well); or with grammar or cloze activities. Word Search and Crossword generators are useful here.
- Then students choose which word study activities they would like to complete. They have two weeks to complete 5 points of tasks.
- Each term, students get a new word study checklist.
A suggestion from several spelling websites, very popular. Students play Battleship but with vocabulary words instead of ships. Included is a printable chart.
I keep a collection of stencils in my classroom for projects and word study. They were all bought from a dollar shop.
For the Word Art activity I mention an alphabet sampler. Find it here.
As part of our History of English unit we did a quick fun lesson on how to do cursive, an unusual thing for high school students to try.
Australian students don’t learn cursive when they are learning to handwrite; they learn some silly thing called ‘Linked Script’.
My main motivation for wanting to do a lesson on cursive was to help students understand how to read it. Some of the kids actually enjoyed writing in it, so it was included in the Word Study.
- The checklist is set up for fortnights. You can adapt easily to weekly, if you prefer, by adding columns.
- Provide a new sheet each week with the words and four or five activities to complete rather than use a new checklist.
- Choose for the students which activities they are to complete each week.
- Vary the points required: 5 points is very low.
- Change the activities.
- Ask the students which activities they prefer and have them come up with new ones.
Let me know if you feel there’s a copyright infringement here. There is nothing original about this Word Study except its layout and design; all of the activities were compiled from suggestions across the web or from students themselves. It is adapted from a photocopied spelling contract given to me at some point; and others have taken my spelling contracts and adapted them to suit themselves.