You can make spelling F-U-N!

you can make spelling f-u-n!

You Can Make Spelling F-U-N!

Spelling is a particularly difficult subject for students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, or other learning issues.  It seems like the rules to memorize are beyond their reach and what they learned one day flies out the window the next.

That’s why it’s important to have strong phonemic awareness.  Phonemes are distinct units of sound in a specified language that distinguish one word from another, for example p, b, d, and t in the English words pad, pat, bad, and bat.  Kids with learning issues need to have a strong phonemic basis so they can spell.

So, where is the fun in that?  Well, you have to make it fun.  Also, the good news is that once these phonemic units are learned, it transfers to reading as well.  Here are a few fun games you can play to increase phonemic awareness.  For each time you play one of the games, pick a phonemic unit, such as “an”.  As you play the game, the student is to spell words that build on it, like can, man, fan, etc.

* Get a large exercise ball and draw a line on the floor or ground.  We use tape.  Call off a phonemic unit to be added upon, and toss the ball over the line as you spell the letters.  Each bounce is a letter.  The student then chooses the spelling of another word in that phonemic unit.  When the student can’t think of any more, move on to another unit.

* Use colored sidewalk chalk and write out a phonemic unit and the words that accompany it.

* Paint the units on large paper.

* Use clay or play dough to write out the units.

* Play basketball.  Instead of the traditional “horse”, change the rules to a phonemic unit.  Each free throw the student makes earns another letter and another shot.

* Play hangman, only just use phonemic units.

* Do jumping jacks or jump rope and have the student call off letters of a chosen phonemic unit.

As you can see, there are so many fun ways to instill phonemic units.See if you can come up with a game of your own.

Happy spelling,


P.S.  I’ve taken all the work out of gathering phonemic units in my Dyslexia Reading System.  It not only contains all of the phonemic units of the English language, it provides the student with irregular rules, which seem to trip them up.

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