Spelling Curriculum Design for Grades 1 – 5

K12Reader offers parents and teachers free spelling curriculum for 1st through 5th grade.  This teacher-developed curriculum can help students develop strong spelling and word recognition skills, and reinforces strong reading development.

Curriculum Design

A comprehensive spelling program extends past the simple memorization of the letters that make up the individual words. Weekly word lists given for the purpose of improving each student’s spelling also provide an ideal opportunity to ensure that all students are being exposed to words that will reinforce their overall success in literacy.

Fry’s 1,000 words are arranged according to the frequency with which they appear in both written and oral communication in the English language. This spelling program incorporates all 1,000 words in the course of a student’s time in grades 1-5. This exposure gives the teacher an opportunity to ensure that the students spell and pronounce these common words correctly, thereby increasing their chances of recognizing the words when they occur in future communication. This spelling program also incorporates grade level appropriate patterns for words, focusing on word families, prefixes/suffixes, and word roots/origins.

A unique component of this spelling program is a selection of academic vocabulary based on the science, social studies, mathematics, and language arts curriculum/standards for each specific grade level. Ideally, these vocabulary words are seen on the spelling lists one to two weeks before students encounter them in the text of their subject area. Spelling activities can include learning the meaning of these words and practicing their spelling and use in sentences. This prepares the student to better understand academic vocabulary in the context of reading, and allows reading to be accomplished with greater fluency.

A final aspect that will make this spelling program meaningful is the inclusion of dictation sentences which will remind students that the spelling words do not occur in isolation. This also gives the teacher a weekly opportunity to assess the students’ skills in listening, and applying language convention rules such as capitalization and punctuation. The sentences also reinforce the correct meaning and usage of the words. You will find this spelling program beneficial at each grade level.