Once students have already gotten a phonics foundation and are past beginning spelling, it is sometimes a challenge to find appropriate resources for improving their spelling skills. Spelling Made Easy is a solution for students in grades six through eight that is both simple and fun to use.
Spelling words are derived from homonyms, words that sound the same but are spelled differently. Each lesson opens with a list of homonyms, presented in ten paired or triplet groups along with brief definitions for each word.
Students write the words and their definitions into a spelling notebook, a few per day. Practice with words takes place in four puzzles, two crossword and two word search per lesson. Both types of puzzles help students work on vocabulary as well as spelling since they identify correct words to fill in or search for by connecting to the proper definition or phrase. Students are to complete the first three puzzles “open book” and the last without any reference tools.
Some words such as “by, buy,” and “bye” will seem relatively easy for spelling while others such as “councilor” and “counselor” are more challenging. While there are spelling programs for the middle school grades that have more challenging lists, these homonyms often pose the most challenges in student writing.
Spelling Made Easy should take at least one year to complete. Lesson plans for each ten groups of homonyms include a one- week schedule and a two-week schedule for those who want to stretch the course out over two years.
The two options for lesson plans showing exact assignments appear next to each week’s list of words and definitions so students can immediately spot what they need to complete each day. This makes this a great resource for independent work. A parent or teacher need only check student work. Puzzle keys are at the back of the book, so you might want to remove these to avoid temptation.
A free sample lesson is available at the publisher's website.