Lesson 23:

Lucy teaches spelling through word sorts

To teach the ch (cherry) and sh (shoe) sounds, Lucy has her students color and cut out tiny pictures of various objects starting with ch or sh. Next, she has the children sort and glue the pictures into columns according to the beginning letter sound of each object. For example, the ch column contains pictures of a cheese, chair, and chip, while the sh column contains pictures of a ship, shop, and shirt.

Why this lesson falls short for some children...

First, teaching spelling through random words is not recommended. Unless the words are the same words that the children encounter during reading and writing activities, they may not understand the relevance of the sorting activity to the actual reading and writing context.

Second, the coloring, cutting, and pasting are distracting to learning the concept at hand (the letters ch and sh) and are more appropriate for fine-motor or art activities.

Third, completing a word sort does not require the same thought processes needed for reading and writing the ch and sh in actual contexts.

Learn to teach this lesson properly

  • Teach spelling through activities which require the same thought processes as used in actual reading and writing contexts.
  • Select spelling words which are relevant to children, rather than giving children random spelling lists of words.
  • Use coloring, cutting, and pasting appropriately during instruction.

Improve your instruction of young learners

To learn the specific methods for teaching this lesson correctly, please see Programs and Get the Books.