30+ Ways to Teach Spelling Without a Textbook

Teach spelling and vocabulary the non-boring way – naturally, and without a textbook! Here are 30+ ways to get hands-on and creative with spelling words.

Disclaimer: I make a small commission from some of the links on this site. It allows me to keep the site up and the content free. You can read my full disclosure here.

30+ Ways to Teach Spelling Without a Textbook

1. Use Scrabble letter tiles.
Use Scrabble letter titles and count up totals and find the most valuable spelling word of the week! From: Heart of the Matter.
2. Play a mini-game of Scrabble with your words.
3. Write your words with rainbow colored pencils or Crayons.
First write the word in red, then orange, yellow, green, etc. overlapping the colors.
4. Try sight word memory.
Create two flashcards of each word and play memory!
5. Draw images in the words.
For example, for the word “cat,” draw a picture of a cat in the word cat! For bed, turn the word bed into a bed! This takes imagination, and is best for kinsthetic and visual learners.
6. Mold words with play dough!
Play dough is great for kinesthetic learners! Practice spelling by molding letters and turning them into words.
7. Type the words.
Typing can also build valuable typing skills. Typing.com also has free typing lessons!
8. Create flashcards!
Use lots of colors – the more imaginative, the better! (Especially for visual learners)
9. Record yourself spelling the word.
The more funny sounds the better. (Especially for auditory learners.)
10. Write spelling words on windows with dry erase markers.
This is the only time they can write on windows! Use dry erase markers for easy clean-up. From: Victoria at Mommy’s Playbook
11. Point out spelling words on the road.
Turn it into a friendly competition and find who can find the largest word!
12. Text spelling words to Grandma.
From: Thaleia at Something2Offer
13. Read good literature.
They’ll learn to see the words spelled correctly. Don’t read kid’s books where things are intentionally misspelled.  From: Kristi at the Potter’s Hand Academy
14. Turn spelling into a game!
Download this free Word Bump spelling game to creatively teach spelling!
15. Get some alphabet letter magnets on the fridge.
If the kids want a snack, they have to spell it out first! From: Dara at Living Story.
16. Use Memverse
Best way ever for my dyslexic struggling speller – use Memverse.com. Typing the verses in again and again has cemented the words in his head like NOTHING we’ve every tried. From: Melanie at Raising Real Men
17. Watch shows like “Super Why.”
Use shows like “Super Why” and “Word World” and memorize words in the car! From: Jen at God’s Girl In This World
18. Find unique ways to spell.
We do writing in the air with a giant pencil, writing in coloured salt, writing on pebbles… all sorts of different sensory experiences! From: Louise at Building Blocks and Acorns
19. Use a magnetic drawing board or play dough or dry erase marker or board.
Repetition is key. Games so they don’t realize the are learning. Reading with children every night. It is important to expose children to words (spelling, meaning, and context) from a young age. From: Kirsten
20. Create a morning message.
We do a morning message which has become more complicated as the years go on. We’re now working on a daily word as we play hangman using SAT/ACT words or opening the dictionary and picking a word out.
After figuring the word out they have to find the definition with an actual dictionary, write the word, draw a picture about what it is/means, parts of speech, synonyms and antonyms ex: identify the individual words within the word terminology = termin + ology= study of words, noun, phraseology.  From: Honey at Honey’s Life
21. Copy short little stories in their phonics readers.
Use Boggle Jr. and practice spelling words. From: Melanie at My BJ’s Wholesale
Teach phonics and spelling through free videos/worksheets, like here.
22. Use clapping!
Clapping (once per letter) while spelling the word will help students remember the correct spelling. This works exceptionally well with autistic students. From: Pamela at Mrs. Specialities.
23. Make graffiti!
Download this freebie to creatively write your spelling words – graffiti style!

24. Use apps!
Apple’s app store is full of a variety of free and paid apps to encourage spelling and reading, for a variety of age ranges.
25. Make crossword puzzles with Bananagrams.
Use Bananagrams (or Scrabble tiles) to create your own crossword puzzles!
26. Play spelling tic-tac-toe.
This game can also work well with sight words!
27. Turn Connect Four into a spelling game.
Here are the directions!

28. Use cookies to practice spelling words.
Whether it be real letter cookies or these free printable ones, use cookies to reinforce spelling words!
29. Create your own word searches.
Just type your spelling words into this free generator!
30. Roll and spell words!
Use this free printable.
31. Build words with LEGOs.
LEGOs can be used for just about everything. Use LEGOs to build letters, and turn them into words!

More Ways to Teach Without Textbooks

30+ Ways to Teach History Without a Textbook
30+ Ways to Teach Math Without a Textbook
30+ Ways to Teach Art Without a Textbook
30+ Ways to Teach Science Without a Textbook
30+ Ways to Teach Geography Without a Textbook

Previous articleHow to Paint Furniture: DIY Jewelry Armoire
Next articleThe Zookeeper's Wife Movie Study
Samantha is an entrepreneur and a former homeschool student from Indiana, USA. When not blogging, Samantha can be found reading about WWII, trying to speak Hebrew, and wasting time on Pinterest. Her work can be found on Free Homeschool Deals, Unigo, True Aim Education, Encouraging Moms at Home, and more.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here