Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Download Acrobat Reader

To view our printable materials, you must download the latest version of the free Adobe Acrobat software.

Download now


Parent & Afterschool Resources

ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more.



HomeParent & Afterschool ResourcesPrintouts


Spelling "Go Fish" Card Game


E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


Grades 6 – 8
Type Word Play
Spelling "Go Fish" Card Game

Was that i before e or e before i? Spelling words start out easy, but as children get older, they're expected to know the trickier ones like conceive, autumn, and suspicious. The good news is that these words belong to groups that follow the same pattern. This game can help children identify these word groups, spell them, and learn what they mean.


How to Use This Printout

More Ideas to Try


How to Use This Printout

  1. The Go Fish cards and the Spelling Patterns Chart are both included as part of this printout. Print them and cut out the cards. You might want to tape them to index cards or construction paper. This will make for easier playing and will also ensure the writing can’t be read from the other side of the card.

  2. Review the rules of Go Fish and how this game will work. In the traditional card game, the goal is to put down groups of cards, such as aces, jacks, or tens. For instance, during a turn, a player asks an opponent if he or she has any tens. If so, the player gets to take them and may ask for other cards. If not, the player gets to Go Fish–to pick from the pile. If a player happens to get a card they were looking for (a ten) from the pile, the player continues his or her turn. If not, the player to the left begins his or her turn.

  3. This game works like Go Fish except that instead of aces, jacks, or other playing cards players ask for words that belong to eleven spelling pattern groups. The Spelling Pattern Chart includes all of the groups; keep it handy during the game. Example groups of words include:

    • cei (receive, deceive, perceive, conceive)

    • cious (precious, gracious, malicious, precocious)

    • pt (slept, crept, inept, wept)
  4. You might want to review these groups before starting the game and also agree how you will ask about them—by pronouncing the name of the group, spelling it out, or saying the word that is listed on the card.

  5. The goal is to collect words from these groups (in sets of four) and lay them down. As in regular Go Fish, the player who puts down all of his or her cards wins the game.

back to top


More Ideas to Try

  • Add difficulty to the game by requiring the winner to spell and define a word from his or her cards (without looking). Opponents get to choose the word! If the player can’t do it, he or she has to wait until the next turn to try again for the win.

  • Make it a game of points to boost spelling and definitions skills. For every card in a spelling pattern set, the player gets one point, plus one extra point for spelling it correctly. Dealer keeps track of points.

  • Extend the spelling theme to family movie night. Watch the documentary Spellbound or feature film, Akeelah and the Bee. Can you spell P-O-P-C-O-R-N?

back to top