Free Word Study Resources for Words Their Way
These FREE word study activities for Words Their Way make my word study program a huge success! The resources are aligned to the 2nd Edition word sort books (published 2009) or the 3rd Edition word sort books (published 2018). You can quickly have all of the word study activities sent straight to your inbox for an easy, fast download by sharing your email below OR download each of the files from Teachers Pay Teachers and Google Drive! Read on to see what word study activities and resources are available to you to try for free!
The following resources are meant to complement a word study routine and program that uses Words Their Way word sort books that come in levels based on developmental spelling stages. As a 4th-5th grade teacher, my students fall within one of the four main developmental stages: Letter-Name Alphabetic Spellers, Within Word Pattern Spellers, Syllables and Affixes Spellers, or Derivational Relations Spellers. You can grab resources for Unit 1 for each of these stages!
WORD STUDY WORD SEARCH FREEBIES
If you are familiar with Words Their Way, then you know that a "blind sort" is an activity where students sort the words from their word lists into categories (and write them down) as they hear the words called out. It's called BLIND because students are not looking at the words.
One year, the idea of "blind searching" using a word search that does not contain the students’ word sort word list came to my mind. By "blind searching" through a word search without having a list of the words contained in the word search, students have a fun way of discovering the word patterns for their upcoming word sort/word study list.
"WORD searching" is an engaging, fun way for students to sharpen their ability to recognize words that ARE spelled correctly (which I've found is a major key to spelling improvement). In the word study word search activity, when students find words in their word search, they record the words by sorting them into categories based on the look of the word and/or the sounds in the word (just like when sorting words with word sort activities!).
FREE UNIT 1 WORD SEARCHES FOR WORDS THEIR WAY WORD SORTS
1) Letter-Name Alphabetic Spellers Word Searches
2) Within Word Pattern Spellers Word Searches
3) Syllables and Affixes Spellers Word Searches
4) Derivational Relations Spellers Word Searches
WORD STUDY ACTIVITY NOTEBOOK FREEBIES
After incorporating word searches into my word study routine, I found that I was always piecing together extension activities for my Derivational Relations group (the higher group of students who always seems to need something more to do for word study). After meeting the needs of this group haphazardly for my first year’s implementation of Words their Way, I finally sat down and created individual extension activities that made sense for each of the Derivational Relations Spellers word lists. Later, I created similar notebook activities for Within Word Pattern and Syllables and Affixes Spellers.
These word study notebook activities are meant to give students more structure as they delve into building a deeper understanding of the words and spelling patterns on their word list. For a number of the sorts, extension activities are also included. While the activity sheets are designed for independent exploration, students often need support in learning how to complete the activity pages. I recommend a gradual-release approach to using the word study notebook activities. Incorporate the pages as extension activities or used to guide your small group lessons.
Here’s an idea of the activities students may be asked to complete:
In the Within Word Pattern Spellers activities, students may be asked to identify short- and long- vowel sounds, create words given a beginning sound or blend + an ending (onsets + rimes), choose the correct beginning letters, vowels, or rime to complete a word, write "silly sentences" to apply the meanings of homophones, create contractions, make words plural, and more!
In the Syllables and Affixes Spellers activities, students may be asked to describe spelling and sound changes when suffixes are applied, derive word meanings from prefixes and base words, identify parts of speech, describe how long vowel sounds are formed, brainstorm words that contain a given word part, add correct endings, choose correct blends, apply the meanings of homophones and homographs, and more!
In the Derivational Relations Spellers activities, students may be asked to derive word and prefix meanings from prefixes and base words, generate words by adding suffixes, brainstorm words that contain a given word part, describe spelling and sound changes when suffixes are applied, identify parts of speech, write "silly sentences" with different versions of a base word, research the etymology of Greek and Latin word parts, and more!
FREE WORD STUDY NOTEBOOKS FOR WORDS THEIR WAY WORD SORTS (PAPER-BASED)
5) Within Word Pattern Spellers Notebook Activities
6) Syllables and Affixes Spellers Notebook Activities
7) Derivational Relations Spellers Notebook Activities
FREE WORD STUDY NOTEBOOKS FOR 2ND EDITION WORD SORT BOOKS (DIGITAL VERSION-GOOGLE DRIVE/GOOGLE CLASSROOM)
The 2nd Edition-Aligned word study notebooks also come in a digital, Google Classroom format.
FREE WORD STUDY TEACHER GUIDE
8) When I send you your mega-file of free word study resources, you’ll also receive a word study guide where I share a peak into how I implement my upper-elementary word study routine using the Words Their Way word sort books. You’ll learn the how and why I broke away from the Monday-Friday scheduling cycle and the activities in the 7-day routine that I use instead. I share tips for differentiating your word study program for different groups, creating a schedule, and organizing your word study materials. You can find much of this information by hopping around my word study blog series, but I've turned it into an e-book to make it printable and easy to refer to as you plan for and implement your own word study program.
FREE SAMPLE SCHEDULE FOR A 7-DAY WORD STUDY CYCLE/ROUTINE
9) It is so helpful to see other teachers’ schedules and routines. Here’s a sample of my word study schedule. It includes a 7-Day cycle and in this example, I have 5 word study groups. You can download a copy of the schedule through Google Drive. By making your own copy of the schedule (or downloading it as a word document), you can use it as a template for organizing your own word study groups. To help you better understand this schedule, I’ve also included some tips and notes!
WRITER’S NOTEBOOK DAY STUDENT TRACKING & PERSONAL WORDS CHART
10) I include a day that I call “writer’s notebook day” into my students’ word study cycle. This means that within a 7-Day cycle, students spend one session going through a page of writing in their writer’s notebook to look for misspelled words. This activity is one of the biggest ways that I help students see the connection between their work during word study and their ACTUAL WRITING and USE OF THEIR SPELLING ABILITIES. While I have sometimes abandoned having students keep up with and record their misspelled words and corrections, this chart is a great way to teach students what to do for writer’s notebook day. It is especially beneficial if you have time to analyze common patterns that students are misspelling or want data on the transfer of "word study" to authentic spelling during writing.
11) The personal words chart contains sections for each letter of the alphabet. Students can record words that they commonly misspell on this chart. These can be incorporated into personal words for them to learn to spell or the chart can simply be used as a reference like a personal word wall.
WORD STUDY SPELLING INVENTORY
In order to truly implement Words Their Way, you will want to assess your students’ spelling abilities at the start of the year. I use the Words Their Way spelling inventory for elementary students to sort my students into 5-6 differentiated spelling groups.
22) This PDF includes the Spelling Inventory with a feature scoring guide that helps me understand my students’ developmental spelling levels and sort them into groups. The PDF includes more helpful details about assessing your students!
TRY THE UNIT 1 WORD SEARCHES, NOTEBOOKS, AND GET ALL OF THESE RESOURCES SENT STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX IN ONE EASY DOWNLOAD BY JOINING THE TARHEELSTATE TEACHER EMAIL COMMUNITY!
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If you would like to cross-check the Words Their Way word study books that you have with the editions that these free resources are aligned to, you can take a look at the Words Their Way 2nd Edition word sort books and the 3rd Edition word sort books .