The Basic Speller

The Basic Speller is intended as a spelling program for elementary students. It is meant to be introduced in the third grade, though it can be introduced later than that. I began writing it in the late 1970's, working with third grade classes, and later fourth grade classes, at Enatai Elementary School in Bellevue, Washington. I also worked with some teachers from other elementary schools in the area. Since then it has served some unexpected purposes, the first two books being used with learning disabled high school students and in a tutoring program for deaf elementary and middle school students. Its emphasis on pattern, structure, order, and system should make it useful for students with language learning problems.

The Basic Speller consists of eight volumes of 48 lessons each. Each lesson is intended to take about half an hour. About every seventh lesson is a ten-word analytical test. The topics covered are indicated in the Table of Contents and in the Scope and Sequence chart. The philosophy underlying the program are laid out in some detail in the Teacher's Introduction.

The sample here includes the following:

  1. Table of Contents and Scope and Sequence
  2. A Teacher's Introduction to the Basic Speller
  3. Book 1, Lesson 1 (Student's Edition): "Always Vowels: <a>, <e>, <i>, <o>"
  4. Book 1, Lesson 12 (Student's Edition): "The Consonant Sound [p]"
  5. Book 1, Lesson 32 (Teacher's Edition): "One Kind of Change: Adding Letters"
  6. Book 2, Lesson 20 (Student's Edition): "A Second Kind of Change: Deleting Letters"
  7. Book 2, Lesson 28 (Teacher's Edition): "A Third Kind of Change: Replacing Letters"
  8. Book 3, Lesson 5 (Teacher's Edition): "A New Word: Stem"
  9. Book 3, Lesson 20 (Teacher's Edition): "The Vowel Sound Schwa"
  10. Book 4, Lesson 11 (Teacher's Edition): "The Prefix ‹Ad-"
  11. Book 4, Lesson 40 (Student's Edition): "When is [p] Spelled <pp>?"
  12. Book 5, Lesson 9 (Teacher's Edition): "Homophones with [u]"

Read or download a gratis copy of Basic Speller