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Lesson Plan

Sort, Hunt, Write: A Weekly Spelling Program

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Sort, Hunt, Write: A Weekly Spelling Program

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Introduction: 30 minutes; thereafter: 20 minutes per session
Lesson Author

Leigh Hall

Chapel Hill, North Carolina


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology





  • A list of spelling words for each student

  • A wide range of print and online texts that students can use for their word hunt, such as:

    • Dictionaries

    • Content area texts

    • Newspapers and magazines

    • Trade books

  • Preprinted spelling words on index cards for students to sort

  • Pretest paper for each student

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1. Assess each student's spelling. This spelling assessment should allow you to determine the developmental stage for each of your students and should be repeated periodically throughout the school year. Based on the assessment results, group students with similar needs and select spelling words for each group that are at an appropriate, instructional level. You will likely have three to five different spelling lists for your class.

2. The students in each group will be taking a different spelling pretest based on the word patterns they will be studying. Create a Word document that has three columns. The first column should contain lines for students to complete the spelling pretest. The second column should contain the answers to the pretest. The third column should contain a list of additional words using the same word patterns.

3. After making copies for the class, fold the sheets so that students cannot see Columns 2 and 3, the answers to the test or the list of additional words.

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