Speed spelling

How you can help at home: Try this fun word-building activity that the whole family can play.

By Nicola Salvatico, Consulting Teacher

Engage the entire family in this fun word-building activity. Your child's successes will encourage him to play on his own and challenge himself. Nicola Salvatico, our teacher consultant, notes: "This fun interactive or independent game challenges your child to build as many words as he can. It allows your child to recognize word patterns, gain strategies and experience successes as well as observing great spelling strategies modeled by family members!"

What You'll Need

Here's How To Do It

Pick a word family (at, ab, ag, an, am, ap, ar, ed, en, et, id, ig, in, ip, it, ob, og, op, ot, ub, ug, un, ut, um). Each person has his own paper, marker and individual letters (consonants). Set the timer for one minute (optional). Each player then builds as many words as he can using the letters (consonants) and the word family (for example: c + at = cat) and writes the list of words on his paper. When the timer goes off, each player then reads all the words he has built. Make sure they are real words and not nonsense words. To extend this activity, write sentences using the words that were built!

Nicola Salvatico has taught both kindergarten and first grade and is currently teaching first grade. She received the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year award in 2005 and was awarded the USA Today's 2005 All-USA Teacher Team Award for her exemplary work at General Wayne Elementary School in Pennsylvania. She holds her certificate in early literacy as well as a master's degree in multicultural education.