Spelling Rules Taught In School

Written by Dan

Are you a teacher trying to figure out how to teach spelling in school ? As educators, we must ensure students have the best chance of succeeding in their academic careers. That’s why effective spelling instruction is so important – it can help ensure your students can communicate their ideas accurately and effectively.

In this blog post, we will look at valuable tips and strategies on how teachers can teach spelling in the classroom, making learning enjoyable while boosting confidence among all learners!

From practical activities like worksheets and games to tech-driven approaches such as online quizzes, there are many ways for teachers to look for creative methods of teaching spelling.

We’ll also touch on some mobile apps that could be used for engaging lessons, too – let’s get started!

Related: For more, check out our article on The Top 10 Grammar Rules here.

The Top 5 Spelling Rules

Every Word Has At Least One Vowel

Understanding the importance of vowels in spelling can be difficult for students as they progress through their education. However, teaching them that every word in English – and many other languages – has at least one vowel can give students a helpful starting point to use when attempting to spell unfamiliar words.

This will help them understand how to piece together syllables and sounds when spelling longer words. In addition, understanding the different roles of each vowel in a comment allows them to remember the pronunciation of those words better, from understanding how silent vowels function to knowing that some combinations of letters create diphthongs or distinct sounds.

Teaching this important concept gives students the tools to become effective spellers.

Every syllable has at least one vowel.

Another critical concept when teaching spelling is to ensure students understand that every syllable typically involves at least one vowel. Explaining this in a way that students can comprehend and build upon is essential for success in spelling.

Encouraging students to practice breaking words into syllables and being provided with visual aids such as flashcards and worksheets are great ways to master this technique. Students will have the foundation for other language arts skills by learning this fundamental part of spelling.

C can say /k/ or /s/. C says /s/ before an e, i, or y

Teaching spelling in school means teaching how to spell words correctly. An essential part of spelling is understanding when the letter ‘c’ should be pronounced /k/ or /s/.

This can depend on the letters following ‘c’. Generally, if there is an e, i, or y after ‘c’, it should be pronounced /s/. However, if it is followed by any other letter, it should be pronounced /k/. Students must understand this pattern to spell words and communicate effectively in writing correctly.

G can say /g/ or /j/. G may say /j/ before an e, i, or y

Teaching G to say the correct sound can challenge young students! Depending on the letter after G, it may make a different sound. If followed by an e, i, or y, they should say /j/ instead of their usual /g/. This can be especially tricky since some words use G’s more brutal sound while others have softer ones.

Therefore, teachers should pay special attention to this consonant when introducing new words. They can create hands-on activities to help children understand how it changes depending on its placement in the word. With help from their teachers and guidance in pronunciation, kids will soon learn to know when to use which.

Q is always followed by a u

Keeping track of all the letter patterns in English can be confusing, but one is sure to stick in students’ minds: Q is always followed by a u! This dependable spelling rule applies to any word with a q, from words like ‘question’ and ‘quick’ to crazy-sounding words like ‘qursh’, ‘qanat’, or the medical term ‘quinsy’.

Teaching this rule not only helps your students with their reading and writing but is also a fun reminder of why English pronunciation doesn’t always match its spelling!

Double the consonants f, l, and s at the end of a one-syllable word with just one vowel.

Learning to double consonants is a valuable skill for students to master as they learn increasingly complex words in their school work. Doubling the consonants f, l, and s at the end of a one-syllable word with just one vowel can help build solid academic vocabulary and make spelling easier for your students.

For example, phonetically speaking, the difference between ‘stiff’ and ‘staff’ could be confusing for some; since it is easy for some new spellers to forget this rule about doubling at the end of words.

However, when you adhere to this simple method of doubling up (in addition to other essential strategies like sounding out each word letter by letter), student difficulty with spelling can significantly decrease.

To spell the sound of /k/ at the end of a word, we use ck or k. Use ck after a short vowel.

Teaching spelling can be tricky, but there is one easy way for students to remember how to spell the sound of /k/ at the end of a word. Understanding that ck should be used after a short vowel – such as ‘sick’ – while k is used after everything else – like ‘milk’ – will make mastering this simple rule effortless.

Knowing when to use ck or k eliminates confusion and helps young learners master English with fun and ease.

Words do not end in v or j.

Teaching kids the rules of spelling is complex, especially when it comes to words that end in an impossible combination for a young mind. While some children may be able to memorise spelling rules quickly, others will need help. Teaching kids words that don’t end with v or j can be tricky in this scenario.

Luckily, most young kids can quickly learn and understand the rule of adding a silent e at the end of the word. For example, ‘have’ ends in -ve, but it spells “have” when written out; adding the silent e at the end confirms its correct spelling.

Contractions replace letter(s) with an apostrophe to shorten a phrase

Contractions are a great way to help students quickly and easily understand how to write and use language in school. They allow students to combine two words, replacing the letter(s) required with an apostrophe to create one shorter phrase.

A great example of this is saying ‘I’ve’ instead of ‘I have’. This makes speaking and writing sentences more efficient for students and allows them to learn new words and phrases more quickly.

I and o may say /ī/ and /ō/ before two consonants.

Teaching spelling in school can be a tricky task. One of the hardest concepts to explain is the rules that govern when letters i and o should be pronounced as /ī/ or /ō/. For example, they take their long vowels before two consonants – think kind and sold.

On the other hand, after short vowels, j takes on its new spelling of dge – like edge or badge. Proving to students that there is rhyme and reason behind our seemingly arbitrary spellings can ease frustration for students and teachers alike!


Q: How can teachers make spelling lessons engaging for students?

A: Teachers can make spelling lessons engaging by incorporating games, activities, and technology tools like interactive whiteboards or educational apps. They can also use real-world examples or literature to show how spelling is used in everyday life.

Q: What are some common spelling rules that students should learn?

A: Some standard spelling rules include the “i before e except after c” rule, the difference between homophones like “there”, “their”, and “they’re”, and silent letters like the “k” in “knight”. There are many other rules, depending on the language and context.

Q: How can parents support their child’s spelling development at home?

A: Parents can support their child’s spelling development by practising with them regularly using games or exercises, providing a quiet space for studying, encouraging reading of age-appropriate books, and ensuring they understand the meaning of words they are learning to spell.

Q: At what age should children start learning about spelling rules?

A: Children typically begin learning about basic phonics-based spelling patterns around age 4-5 in preschool or kindergarten. Formal instruction in more complex spelling rules usually begins in primary school around age 6-7.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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