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Tips for Writing Sentences (and Stories!) with Your Spelling Words

January 24th, 2017

Most teachers assign spelling words homework at some point. The assignment may be to use their spelling words in sentences or to write a story using their spelling words. Both of these assignments can be daunting for a lot of kids. So, what can you do to make these assignments easier?

Writing Sentences with Your Spelling Words

The easy way to write spelling words into sentences is to list the words on a separate sheet of paper. I typically write the list for my younger kids. Once they are in the 3rd or 4th grade they write the list. This makes it easy for your kids to underline the word once they were used.

Then, give some leading questions to start generating sentences using the words. Suggestions as to where, when, how, why, or what regarding the word always sparked a response. Sometimes my kids were able to tie one sentence into another using several of the words.

As we talked about those things, I jotted them down. Before you knew it, the words had been put into sentences that just needed to be recopied. And, we had some great one-on-one time in the process.

Example spelling words: high, near, every, west, lives

Prompt

Sentence

What is something that is high in your room?My china doll is on the high shelf in my room.
Who is someone near you?My best friend Marcos lives near me.
When do you do something every day?I brush my teeth every morning.
Where is west? Or who lives in the west?My uncle lives on the west coast in San Francisco.

Writing Stories with Your Spelling Words

After making using spelling words into sentences so easy I adapted the process for using your spelling words in sentences.

When kids write at the same time as they are creating their story, they typically have a lot of ‘holes’ in the story, places where words have been left out. That is because their brain is working faster than their hand. They typically write the first few words of the first thought down and then the second thought comes to them and they start writing it as the second half of the first sentence.

Simple Ways to Write a Story Using Your Spelling Words

  • Start the same way as writing individual sentences with your spelling words by having your word list handy.
  • Talk about where the story would take place, the time of day, who would be in the story, and what the character might be doing. that covers the who, what, where, and when that is needed when writing a story.
  • As we talked about those things, I jotted them down.
  • Then my son started telling me the story, putting in his spelling words. I wrote the story down as he told it.
  • Every once in awhile he’d get ahead of himself and I’d say, “Wait a minute, how did he (the character) get from here to here? You need to tell us.”
  • So, he filled in the transition.
  • We’d check to be sure that all of the words were used, adding any that needed to be added.
  • After this session (about 20 minutes), he had his story done.
  • He recopied it so he could turn it in the next day.

Spelling Words and Activities Built Into a Spelling Program

For more spelling words activities, check out our Awaken the Scholar Within Spelling and Phonics Program which includes the Making Spelling Sense and Making Spelling Sense II books. In the ASW Spelling and Phonics Program, Bonnie Terry teaches you step-by-step with video lessons. It also includes application lessons. Each lesson provides two visual processing puzzles as well as auditory processing activities. The phonics portion of the book pulls together the skills you learn with improving reading fluency.

Are you interested in learning more about solutions to spelling problems? What about solutions that also improve your auditory, visual, and tactile-kinesthetic systems? Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Bonnie Terry M.Ed., BCET.

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Writing Sentences with Your Spelling Words