It helps with this exercise if children have a prior knowledge of phonics but isn't essential.
It works by referencing a word we know to spell an unfamiliar word. For instance, I can spell 'seek' therefore I can spell 'sleek'.
Possible words: blue, grow, lie, see, fate (easier), fete(harder), feet, play, gain, stone, feel, light, lie, feed, sail, fine, boat, steam, grace, dive, owl, fake, took, thing, tar, rock, lack, could.
- Write a word on the board and ask the students to think of as many rhyming words as they can in a set time (e.g. 25 seconds, decrease the time the more confident & able the group). They should record their answers.
You may use a word like 'seek'
- The children will think of the relevant rhyming words, thinking about the spelling as they're recording. In this case you will have either the 'ee' or 'ea' phoneme in the word (eg. Leap, sheep, sleep, reap, heap, deep, cheep ect).
- As a class list the words they have written down. Where the children need to use different phonemes there might be a rule to help you. Unfortunately I cannot think of one to distinguish 'ee' from 'ea' (if you do find one please write it in the discussion for this idea, thanks ) - Click here to discuss this idea.
Extend your students by only supplying an 'extended grapheme' and let the students generate words within a time limit. e.g. eet (the graphemes would be 'ee' and 't') = sleet, greet, meet, feet.
Example 'extended graphemes': age, ake, ame, ave, ace, ate, ail, ain, ine, ipe, ice, ink, ight, oon, ool, oast, eet, eak, eap.(please help extend the list of extended graphemes by posting yours here).
The rhyme train - with children in a circle on child should say a word (you can start with example words) then the next child should say a rhyming word.
If children struggle with spelling you should use 'show me your fingers' this is known by different names such as 'Fred fingers' (Ruth Miskin) or 'phoneme fingers' Pie Corbett. Here when a word is said the children should use their count silently the number of phonemes in the word and hold up that number of fingers. e.g.
G-r-i-p = 4, s-ee-k = 3; here the two letters 'ee' represent only one extended e sound so only one phoneme.
Recommended length: 5-15 minutes
By listening carefully to how a word sounds we are (mostly) able to work out similar words we can spell and therefore how to spell the word we want.