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Spelling and Vocabulary, Grades K-5

Resources for Learning and Practicing Language Arts Skills

Found In: language arts, preK-2, 3-5

Words and their meanings and spellings are the building blocks of communication. The following lessons, activities, games, and tools will help students and teachers in grades K-5 develop reading and writing skills critical for all subjects.

Lesson Plans & Activities

Lesson Plans

Action ABC's: Learning Vocabulary with Verbs
Students in grades K-2 brainstorm to create lists of verbs for each letter of the alphabet, and then choosing one verb for each letter, create an Action Alphabet book, including an illustration and sentence using the verb in context.

Crossword Puzzles (Student Interactive)
Students in grades K-12 study content area vocabulary, practice grammar or parts of speech, or demonstrate what they have learned by creating crossword puzzles.

Sort, Hunt, Write: A Weekly Spelling Program
Students in grades 3-5 create individualized word lists and work individually, with partners, and in small groups to learn the words.

Learning to Learn with Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster
Students in grades 3-5 combine vocabulary exploration with word play by planning their own vocabulary parade, modeled on the activities in the picture book Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster.

Additional Lesson Plan Collections

Activities & Games

Background Resources

Vocabulary Strategies 
Describes 14 strategies to use in the classroom.

Teaching Vocabulary (for K-3 Teachers)
Consider some excellent lesson models for teaching vocabulary, explaining idioms, fostering word consciousness, instruction for English Language Learners, and mnemonic strategies.




  • Vocabulary Games for the Classroom
    By Lindsey Carlton and Robert J. Marzano
    Marzano Research Laboratory (March 15, 2010
  • Teaching Basic and Advanced Vocabulary: A Framework for Direct Instruction
    By Robert J. Marzano
    Heinle (Cengage Learning) and Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (June 8, 2009)
  • Creating Robust Vocabulary: Frequently Asked Questions and Extended Examples
    By Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown, and Linda Kucan
    The Guilford Press (April 28, 2008)
  • Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction
    By Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown, and Linda Kucan
    The Guilford Press (March 20, 2002)
  • Teaching English Spelling: A Practical Guide
    By Ruth Shemesh and Sheila Waller
    Cambridge University Press (March 13, 2000)
  • Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12
    By Janet Allen
    Stenhouse Publishers (January 1, 1999)

last updated: April 5, 2019


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