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How to Teach Spelling With Word Inquiry

by 100IQ Win The Knowledge


You don’t have to be a teacher to want to laugh at how bizarre the English language can be. But if you are a teacher, your laughter may turn to tears the next time one of your students mixes up the homophones “two,” “to,” and “too.”

Most of us learned that the English language is made up of rules and when a word doesn’t follow rules it’s called irregular. But this approach can be frustrating to both teachers and students alike.

Is it “c-a-t” or “k-a-t?” If <k> represents the /k/ sound, then why does “know” start with the /n/ sound?

We know how strongly you want to shout “just because!” when you receive a question like this. But the truth is, any time you answer with “because that’s the way it is,” you risk sending the message that your student isn’t smart enough to catch up or that their curiosity to just too much. Most importantly, you might not be helping students for whom sounding it out is just not working, setting them up to feel like bad readers.

That’s where structured word inquiry (SWI) can help. Using these guidelines, you can bring basic word inquiry into your elementary school classroom to ignite your students’ curiosity and prepare yourself for the next time someone utters that dreaded “why?”

First Things First: Structured Word Inquiry Foundations

There are a few essential guidelines to remember when planning your word inquiry activities.

Good questions guide the way.