Primary English: Sensational spelling ideas

Sian Evans
27th September 2017
Image of teacher writing spellings on a whiteboard for KS1 and KS2 pupils

Make sure that spelling tasks are engaging, worthwhile and even fun with these creative resources

We all know that the mention of spellings in the classroom can result in an almighty groan and that’s why it is so important to tackle them with a smile. Whether you are looking to top up your toolkit of traditional resources or are on the hunt for something a bit different, this hand-picked collection of resources is the perfect starting point for making spelling a topic to look forward to each day.  

Spelling lists and schemes

There is a reason that look, cover, write, check is a firm favourite in classrooms up and down the country. While lists of words can seem daunting at the beginning, well-structured schemes are a simple way to ensure that all the keywords are being covered and spread out over the year. 



Complete week by week spelling lists for Autumn 1. Complete with introduction, extra challenges and words to learn. Covers the entire spelling curriculum by the summer term, including recapping.
Other year groups are available.
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By erylands

Spelling 'Step Challenges' for Years 1-6 (New Curriculum)

Spellings, particularly the retention of spellings, are a particular issue in our school - it has been holding many children back from achieving Expected Standard in their writing. We are trying to combat this!

I have made 9 step challenges that would span from years 1-6. Each step has its own ‘sub-steps’ – this is because there are a lot of words to get through, but each sub-step isn’t necessarily more difficult than the previous one as all the words from one step are the same level of difficulty (just split into lists of 20). I've attached a file called "Step Challenges - word origins" which explains where I got the words from (clue: the National Curriculum!) and how I'd expect the children to work through them (KS1 = steps 1-4, KS2 = steps 5-9).

Every list has 20 words in it, so each step (apart from Steps 4 and 9) consists of 100 words in total. Ideally, SCs would take place weekly. In my experience, children may often get high marks in the usual weekly spelling tests (where all words follow a certain rule) but then, a few weeks later, forget how to spell them, as retention is such an issue. It would still be beneficial to teach a spelling rule a week, which may apply to some of the words in their step challenge, but not all. The 20 words in each list do not follow a rule for this reason.

Children need to get 20/20 before moving on to the next sub-step. A reward for passing a ‘sub-step’ could be house points, or something relevant to that age group/your school. Once they’ve passed all sub-steps (a-e), they then need to pass a ‘Challenge’ to have passed the whole step. The challenge would be 20 words randomly picked from the whole 100 on that step – if the children achieve 18 or above out of 20 on these, they then pass that whole step and are awarded a certificate! (We have created one personalised for our school.)

Children’s progress could be tracked on Excel – I’ve made a grid that could be useful for this (see attached). This could either be updated on the computer or printed off.
By Sophie Bartlett

Year 1 Spellings Words Lists - New Curriculum

New curriculum Year 1 Spellings words lists, worksheets and dictation sentences. Each file has a PDF version and an editable version. There are also 3 versions of the worksheets: 1) plain text (2) cursive, without lead-in strokes and (3) cursive, with lead-in strokes. You can find more resources like these on the Save Teachers Sundays website.
By SaveTeachersSundays

12 spelling bees lists & multi-task activities for phonic phase 4

*COMPLETE SET OF 36 LISTS NOW AVAILABLE - see at the bottom of the page or look at* First 12 lists of 10 words for phonic phase 4 - includes, posters, LCSWC, handwriting sheets and flashcards. Part of Spelling Bee scheme - includes guides, display words, certificates, bee pictures and overview of words. Phases 2, 3, 5 and 6 and years 3-6 also available in my resource list. Follow the scheme on facebook -
By paul urry

Engaging activities

Creative methods can ensure that reinforcing the spelling words of the week isn't a dull task. Help pupils to contextualise new spellings by playing around with the words, using them in a sentence and dissecting their meaning.


Spelling Activities For Any Spelling List

50 Spelling Activities which can be used for any spelling list!

This high quality resource has 50 A5 Spelling Activity Task Cards which are easily differentiated to suit a wide range of ability levels and cover a huge range of activity types including Morphemes, Letter Patterns and Sound Patterns.

Also included are 15 A4 printables to support the task cards.

Simply print and laminate to re-use.

These task cards can be used in individual learning centres, as a whole class or within small group/partner work.

Like this resource? Please leave a review!

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By Resourcing Time

Fun Spelling Activities

Spelling activities to reinforce weekly spelling words.Topics also include: word work.

By EBD35

KS2 Homework Spelling Menu with 35 Different Activities

A spelling menu with 35 different ways to practise for KS2 children. I took activity ideas from a variety of spelling menus and designed one big one for children to have in their homework books. Most activities should be easy for the children to access at home and there are lots of examples of how to complete the task for them to refer to.
By whatmissdiamonddid

Spelling Activities & Games

This resource contains 20 + spelling activities and games.
Suitable for any word list (KS1, KS2)
Almost no prep needed apart from printing (some games require a dice or a spinner).
Can be used year after year making it a great investment!
Activities include: secret code writing; spelling battleships; look/say/cover/write/check; iPad spellings; postcard writing; word search making; rainbow spelling; dictionary work; word webs; word swirls; spelling hangman; board game; word families; comic strips and more!
By hoppytimes

Fun games and challenges

Quash any negative feelings around learning spellings and have some fun with these themed activities. From jungle adventures to detective investigations, let young learners' imaginations run wild as they use their spelling knowledge to complete a range of questions. 


Olympic Spelling Challenge, SATPIN

Board game, designed to help pupils with their spelling, with an Olympic theme. Full instructions included. Sassoon font used throughout. Board is A4 but could be enlarged to A3 for a larger group.
By bevevans22

Headband spelling game

A new take on the old party game. A fun way to get those spelling words into their heads, relief from the tedium of trying to teach those spelling lists. Can be adapted with halloween masks, christmas hats, easter bonnets or sun hats instead of headbands. Minimum prep for teachers, max fun for kids. Please leave a comment if you download. Please report it if you have a problem downloading and let me know too as My windows 7 doesn't seem to marry well with TES.
By kaz526

Spelling Spies game

Just print,( tiny bit of cutting) and laminate, instructions on last page. A really fun and interesting way to ring the changes with their spelling. Boys especially will love it. Please leave a comment if you download it. If you have problems downloading it please report it and let me know too. My WORD on windows 7 does not seem to marry well with TES
By kaz526

Jungle Jumble Spelling Challenge

This is a spelling challenge booklet that I created to use with my SEN groups and KS1 children. It helps children work through learning the first 100 HFW for spelling and can be used as part of a PT/probes session or as a aid to learning for a whole class or group. The children love doing it and we have seen great results. I have another one for the next 200 HFW if people think it would be useful.
By sarahbid

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