Spelling – Look, Cover, Write and Check

The Look, Cover, Write and Check spelling method is an easy activity for learning new spelling words. First of all you need to write the list of words to learn onto a piece of paper – then you simply look, cover, write and check.

During the ‘look’ stage get the child to look at the word. They should really study the word – taking the time to say it out loud, looking at the whole word, saying the letters aloud and looking for identifiable patterns or shorter words inside the bigger word. During this step they are looking for anything that will help commit the word to permanent memory. Before moving on to the next step encourage your child to close their eyes, picture the word and to try spelling the word from memory and then opening their eyes to check accuracy. Looking at the word one last time before attempting to spell it on their own can be of help.

Now they need to ‘cover’ the word; they can use their hand, a bookmark, or another piece of paper so that the spelling is hidden from sight.

The ‘spell’ step is self-explanatory – they need to write the word down on the paper tying to recall the patterns that they saw in the look stage.

The final step is to ‘check’ the accuracy of what they have written. This is done by comparing it letter by letter to the original. If they use both hands they can simultaneously point to each of the letters in the word to make sure they notice any mistakes. If there are mistakes, the process should be repeated from the beginning until the word is spelled correctly.

Top Tip
We found using the Reception Key Words Whiteboard a really useful tool for the learning this set of words using the look, write, cover, spell method. We worked one row at a time and practicing on the whiteboard saved having to re-write a new list each time we wanted to practice.


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