April 23, 2003
Several years ago, I taught a sixth grade language arts class. Most of our spelling words came from the literature stories we read. A couple of times there were no words to use, so I had each student find a spelling word for me. They could choose any word from the dictionary, but they had to be able to pronounce it, give me the definition, part of speech, the origin of the word, and use it in a sentence. I then attempted to spell the word. Not only did this give students practice in all the uses of a dictionary, but also they could observe me model the steps in spelling a word: sounding it out, looking at the number of syllables, matching consonants and vowels to the sound. They loved it when they stumped me.