Sparkling Spelling

Beginning Reading
Bliss Ramsey

Rationale:  Beginning Readers must learn to spell words in order to read them in isolation or written texts.  Of all the beginning spelling words, often the ones with a silent e are most difficult to spell because you cannot merely sound the word out.  One must know and recognize what makes a word have a long vowel sound is often a silent 'e' at the end of the word.  This lesson will help children learn to spell words with long vowels and a silent e.   They will learn to recognize words with a long vowel, learn to spell the words through modeled instruction and practice spelling with a very popular educational spelling game.

Materials:  Primary paper and pencil, 10 spelling words listed on the board (bike, game, trade, flame, clone, joke, face, dice, rice, glide), area in room large enough for the whole class to stand in a circle, and Kite Day at Pine Lake (decodable book).

1) Introduce the lesson by explaining that learning to spell is the secret in unlocking the door to reading.  The tricky part is learning the rules that one must acquire to spell.  Today we are going to work on one of those special rules that will help you all feel more confident in spelling and reading words.  We are going to learn about the silent e and what it does to letters in words.  At first the silent e might be hard to see and understand but as we go through the lesson and you become more familiar with it, you will be able to have a grasp at why the silent e is so important and needed in our words.
2) Ask students:  Can anyone hear the difference in the word mad and made?  They are spelled very similar and only have one main difference that changes the whole meaning of the word.  The silent e at the end of made makes this a whole new and separate word from mad.   Now I will show you have to spot a silent e in a word.  When you are reading or talking and a word has a long vowel in it (usually in the middle of the word) then most likely there has to be a silent e on the end of the word.
3) Now let's look at the spelling words for this week.  Notice that each word has a silent e on the end but more importantly when we say the words notice that the vowel in the middle of the word is long.  That is the silent e working its magic!  Now let's say the words together: "like, game, trade, flame, clone, joke, face, dice, rice, glide."  Good now listen to the words when I say them without the silent e on the end: "bik, gam, trad, flam, clon, jok, fac, dic, ric, glid."  Do you hear the difference?  Wonderful!! Now let's review what vowels say without the silent e the i in bik, dic, ric and glid says i=/i/, without the silent e the a in gam, trad, flam, and fac says a=/a/, and without the silent 'e' the o in clon and jok says o=/o/.
4) (Have students take out primary paper and pencil).  We can use these words to help us continue in our understanding of the silent e.  Now please write down each of these words.
5) Call on students to answer and tell how they knew, Also ask students to write down the words they know have a silent e in them:  Do you know if a silent e is in made or mad?  Tame or tam?  Bike or bik? Use or us?  bon or bone?  Good Job.  Now I will come around and check everyone's spelling of these five words. If you are having trouble remember what sounds each letter makes, and remember what the silent e does to the vowels in the middle of the words.  Check each child's work and help students sound out words if needed.
6) Now, I will give you all a book called, Kite Day at Pine Lake.  Each of you please quietly read it on your own.  I will walk around and when I tap you on your shoulder please whisper read to me.  I will walk around to everyone.  Now please go ahead and read.

1) After checking each child's spelling gather students in a larger area and have children make a large standing circle.
2)  Tell the students that you are going to give them a spelling word and that it is very important for them to pay attention.
3) Say a spelling word. (example: bike)
4) The first person will say the word "bike"
5) The next student wills ay the first letter of the word, "b."  If a student misspells the word, they have to sit down.
6) Have students go around the circle, spelling out the word one letter at a time (b-i-k-e)
7) Once all the letters have been correctly spelled out, the next student says the whole word.
8) The next person in the circle says, "sparkle" (knowing that the spelling of the one word like is over) and the person after them is to sit down.
9) Go to the next word on the spelling list and play the same way.  Continue until the entire spelling list has been spelled.
Objectives for activity: a) students will practice their spelling vocabulary, b) develop a positive attitude toward spelling, and c) practice their listening skills

Assessment:  Distribute a picture page; each picture is one of the spelling words.  (For example a fire for flame)  Children will have to correctly spell the words under the picture.

Activity adapted from Website: Sayre, Terry. 'Sparkle-A Spelling Game' May 1998
Adams, Marilyn Jager. (1990) Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print a Summary.  Center for the Study of Reading.  pg59-64.

Click here to return to Elucidations.