The emphasis nowadays on learning to read and write with phonics programmes is good – but is often not easy for children with unclear speech, impaired hearing and listening, and/or poor auditory memory. There are sound-letter correspondences to learn, multiple ways of spelling the same sound, spelling rules, some irregular spellings that just have to be learnt – it goes on and on. Sometimes it is helpful to consider the skills separately, working towards the complete skills of reading and writing.
Children with SLCN problems will often be facing language and literacy difficulties. If you aren’t too good at talking, then the effort required to write stuff is a step too far. It is useful to build up language skills alongside work on learning spellings. You can ask them to make up a spoken sentence for each word on a spelling list (which may reveal they aren’t thinking of the right word anyway!), or use one of the day’s list to complete a spoken sentence you begin. If the list has words with similar endings e.g. fall/call/wall (called rimes), you may be able to make up a silly poem together. Or you can take turns to add to a story you make up – each person adds a sentence which contains the next word on the list.
Here are some resources which are to do with spelling. Look in the Articulation list as well because many of the minimal pair words which are useful for learning to discriminate between different sounds can be used for spelling work.
SORT RIMES spell 1 A collection of rhyming words to sort and match the ‘rimes’ and another specifically with Vowel-Consonant-e (VCe or magic-e) endings.
PHONIC LIST spell 2 Lists of regular phonic spellings in short sequences. For ear-training. What has changed?
CONSONANT-le ENDING spell 3 The dominos are split words aiming to show the difference between when the first syllable is ‘open’ (ends with a vowel sound) and ‘closed’ (has a CVC format).
DIGRAPH VOWELS AI/AY and EE spell 4 Pictures and words.
SPELLINGS with PH spell 5 Examples given and then sentences with missing words (replaced with a picture) to fill in.
ENGLISH IS A STRESSFUL LANGUAGE spell 6 Includes VOWEL SOUNDS AND LETTER NAMES which gives a key word for the main vowel sounds of Standard British English and tries to explain some spelling errors caused by children using the name of a letter to represent a syllable e.g. kr to spell car.
DIGRAPH VOWELS IE OE UE and VCe spell 7 Examples given and then sentences with missing words (replaced with a picture) to fill in.
VOWEL LETTERS/ SYLLABLE COUNT spell 8 Reading a new word is greatly helped by spotting how many syllables it is likely to have.
RHYME AND BUILD WORDS spell 9 Illustrated cards with rhyming words to match to fictional cartoon characters with ‘rime’ names. Intended for children with delayed auditory memory skills to use onset-rime approach in a fun way.
VOWEL DIGRAPHS FROM JOLLY PHONICS SCHEME spell 10 Illustrated flash cards to use with these digraphs. (Can be used with magnetic letters from JP set or other to build words.)
WAYS TO SPELL THE O-SOUND spell 11 Grouped words with this sound spelt in the same way in an attempt to stimulate a mental picture to help memory. Examples illustrated with PCS or Widgit symbols.
SUFFIXES AND A SPELLING RULE spell 12 Tasks around the rule: omit word-final e before an ending starting with a vowel letter. Revise the meaning of verb/noun/adjective. Illustrated with PCS or Widgit symbols.
EARLY SPELLING PATTERNS – CHAIN GAMES spell 13 Four sets of cards in chain game format. Words chosen to focus on several spelling patterns and give opportunities for spotting rhymes, VCe words etc. Suggestions given. Can be presented as read and find the picture, or name the picture and find the word.
CVC VERSUS CVCe (MAGIC-E) PAIRS spell 14 For improving recognition of the CVCe shape. Three sets of cards for playing Pairs where a pair will have one word of the CVC shape (e.g. ROD) and the other of the CVCe shape (RODE). Suggestions for including work on using the words to make sentences, as well as reading them.
A-Z DOMS spell 15 Two sets of domino cards to print on A4 card, single-sided. One has letters only, the other has a picture with the upper case letter plus ‘I begin with…’ to match to the lower case letter on the next card.
A-Z RAINBOW + GUIDE spell 16 A selection of rainbows, upper and lower case letters to match, and a set of upper case letters backed by pictures.
A-Z INC. AUSTRALIAN AND NZ ITEMS spell 17 A fun A-Z including particularly some of the symbols for antipodean things in the Widgit and PCS sets.
A-Z JOBS spell 18 Job descriptions and alphabet pages and stick. Lots to talk about. Suitable for EAL.
A-Z ADJ spell 19 Fun collection of adjectives to discuss and try to use in stories.