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Language and Communication spell high frequency words  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


Being able to spell high frequency words aids success in writing, allowing the child to focus on the content

Early years skill:not specified
Early years typical range:not specified
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Writing
P-scales/Curriculum level:L2c
TAP skill:Writing
TAP level:TAP64
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Primary (5-11yrs) info; Secondary (11-16yrs) info
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The activities on this sheet can be used at other levels to support spellings.

Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Using a race track game to learn high frequency spellings

Set of 20+ cards with target high frequency words

Race track or loop



1. Read through the words with the player(s).

2. Place the cards face down.

3. Players take it in turns to pick up the card, use S.O.S. to spell the word, throw the dice and move around the board.

4. Winner is the first person to finish.

5. Repeat the game after reading through all the words again.

6. A spelling 'test' could be introduced when the child thinks he is ready to try this.

A list of words can be obtained from "Letters and Sounds": search for this on:

New words need to be added gradually.

There could be several copies of each word or selected word.

An example track can be found in "Supporting children with gaps in their mathematical understanding", from

S.O.S. = simultaneous oral spelling = saying the word and then saying each letter of the word while writing it. The card can be turned over while they are trying to spell the word.

A variation could be asking the child to write the word on a whiteboard.

Using mnemonics to teach spelling

A short list of words the child is finding particularly difficult to remember - 'tricky words'

Whiteboard and pen

1. Select a word from the list.

2. Give the child an example of a mnemonic for it.

3. Ask the child to say the mnemonic.

4. Ask the child to say and then write the word, saying the mnemonic as he writes.

5. Include the target word in sentence writing.

6. Help the child to make up new mnemonics for words on the list.

7. Revise the mnemonics regularly.

8. A list of useful mnemonics could be prepared with a whole class. Highlight the first letter of each word by writing in colour.

Mnemonics are memory triggers to help learn words.

They are especially useful for irregular words such as 'said' and 'because'


said =

said ant itching, don't.

Include the word to remember as the first word in the mnemonic and use short vowel sounds as far as possible.


because eagles can add up so easily

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