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Spelling for Life


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Table of Contents


  1. Orthographic Mapping
  2. Spelling Assessment
  3. Broken Rules and Word Stories
  4. Word Families
  5. Homophones
  6. Mnemonics
  7. Counting Syllables
  8. Affixes
  9. The Spelling Formula
  10. The Difference Between Vowels and Consonants
  11. What Consonants Say
  12. Round the Blend
  13. Illegal Letters
  14. The Single Vowels
  15. The Letter 'y'
  16. Final Silent E, Jobs 1-3
  17. FINAL SILENT E Job 4
  18. Final Silent E and Suffixes
  19. Final Silent E Additional Jobs
  20. The Wicked Sisters and Other Wacky Rs
  21. The Vowel Generator
  22. Strong and Weak Syllables
  23. Schwa
  24. To Double or not to Double?
  25. The return of illegal 'i'
  26. The Suffix Generator
  27. More Fascinating Patterns
  28. Some Delightful Lists
  29. A Suggested Scope and Sequence

Appendix 1. Forgive me, Scotland Appendix 2. The Triangle Game Appendix 3 Why not just make spelling simpler?

About the Author

Lyn Stone is a linguist and author in private practice. She lives and works in Victoria, Australia, where she runs her education consultancy, Lifelong Literacy. Her goal is to help teachers awaken linguistic curiosity in their students using creative, engaging tools and strategies, based upon scientific consensus as to what constitutes best practice.


'In the digital age, when spellchecking is almost universal, it is easy to forget the essential role of learning to spell in becoming literate. In this update to her book, Lyn Stone reminds us that learning to spell is more than just the tedious task of memorizing lists of words. Learning to spell is the partner of learning to read, each enhancing and dependent on the other. Lyn not only reminds us of the importance of spelling, but shows us how to teach it in a way that fits with learning to read and matches what we know about how young brains become literate.'Steven P. Dykstra PhD, Psychologist and Member of the International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction & CORELearn National Advisory Board'We used to teach spelling more effectively, but since whole language, balanced literacy and multi-cueing reading instruction has dominated classrooms, teaching spelling has been replaced by approaches that rely on visual memory; a very inefficient strategy. You cannot teach what you do not know, so as an academic who works with pre-service and experienced teachers, who can rarely explain why words are spelled the way they are, Spelling for Life will provide the lesson plan, words and knowledge to make explicit how to teach the conventions of the writing system.'Dr Lorraine Hammond, PhD CF AM, Associate Professor, Edith Cowan University, Australia'Lyn Stone has done the (almost) impossible! With technical accuracy and scientific precision, she provides an approach that makes spelling your friend. When you look for a friend, don't you want someone reliable and predictable, as well as fun and interesting? Lyn's masterful description of the English writing system shows spelling in that light. Learning how to spell well becomes fascinating and approachable. And Lyn offers instructors a framework that weaves spelling into a larger literacy context. Not only will students have improved spelling, but their ability to read and express themselves is bound to grow too, with careful attention paid to the many layers of our complex language.'Sara Peden, R. Psych, Member Ontario College of Teachers

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