Making Words

Making Words book cover

Multilevel, Hands-On, Developmentally Appropriate Spelling and Phonics Activities

by Patricia M. Cunningham
For Elementary • K-3

Making Words is a multilevel, developmental approach to combining phonics and spelling. It includes:

  • 160 concise, 15-20 minute hands-on lessons
  • guidelines for creating your own
  • hundreds of word lists!

Ideal for Primary Grades

Making Words contains step-by-step, sequential lessons in which students select letters to build short and long words. During the 15-minute activities, children are encouraged to explore words, letter-sound relationships, and letter patterns. Using selected letters, students make 12 to 15 words, beginning with short words and continuing with longer words. Children not only make new words but also sort those words by letter patterns-an effective tool for strengthening spelling skills.

Teacher's Perspective
Making Words became an important resource in my 1st/2nd grade classroom. I used the warm-ups as a spark to Academic Choice time. As a school, we had tiles made for each student in every grade. In order to organize the many little tiles, we stored them in a fishing box, bought in a hardware store, with small, clear compartments. In the beginning of the school year we did Making Words as a whole class so students learned the routine. As students became more independent using the letter tiles, Making Words became part of Academic Choice word work time. I also did Making Words with small groups in order to individualize instruction. Remember, once you get comfortable with the structure of Making Words you can create your own, fun lists of words.
     –Ellen Shulman

Good Apple, 1994, 178 pages, paper
ISBN 0-866-53806-2