A Story Based Approach to Learning to Spell

Bringing Spelling to Life

Read and refer to the story regularly to engage learners and provide context for phonics.

When reading the phonics stories:

  • read for enjoyment of story
  • listen for the focus sound words
  • notice how there are many different letter combinations that spell the focus sound

Teacher Preparation for Accompanying Resources

  • Download the phonics picture books as a separate PDF file or use the printed picture book
  • Use the copy of the story on one page for individual student reference 
  • Read and refer to story frequently to engage and provide meaning and context
  • Spelling words are sorted into groups of 10-12 words, (except the smaller word family groups), and grouped according to degree of difficulty enabling differentiated ability groups. 
  • Sight words are sorted according to their focus sound making them easy to sound out phonetically
  • Flash cards are included as a separate PDF for printing convenience. Use for a range of activities
  • Use desk charts for individual students or enlarge for class display

Phonics: Word Family Activities

  • Choose activities to study a word family for a week, or as suited
  • Teach in word family sequence or as suited
  • Students follow instruction from task cards or complete worksheets 
  • Laminate task cards for multiple use
  • Spelling lists grouped in degree of difficulty, choose suitable ability levels or progress from simple to complex words

Putting it All Together: Summary Activities

  • These activities are best at the end of a word family focus unit
  • Summarise with the final activity of many ways to spell the focus sound