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Interesting Spelling Homework Activities For 5th Graders

When I was in fifth grade, my spelling homework consisted of copying the words five times each across the page and putting them in alphabetical order. Despite the apparent effectiveness of that method, I - and every other poor kid in my class - hated Monday nights with a purple passion. Although repetition is often one of the best ways to learn something, it can be incredibly tedious and having to mindlessly copy twenty words five times each (that makes a hundred, total) really crushes the soul of a fifth-grader.

So, without further ado, some less monotonous options for spelling homework activities:

  • pick a spelling word and write an acrostic poem for it (the poem should be relevant to the meaning of the word)

  • make crossword puzzle or a word search, or have students make one themselves. You can have students exchange them in class the next day.

  • write a rebus for each word - use pictures and letters to create the spelling word. For example, if one of the words was “homework”, you could draw a picture of a house + work

  • make anagrams - rearrange the letters of each word to form new words or phrases (it doesn’t count if you have leftovers!). Maybe have a contest to see who can come up with the most

  • make pictures from words (the picture should express the definition of the word
  • do a word scramble - make a worksheet, and have the students unscramble the words

  • write words with a code/cipher (a=#, b=%, c=&, etc., or use numbers or symbols or something to represent each letter)

  • write words in cool styles/handwritings that reflect the connotations of the words or the feeling they give you. For example, if one of the words was “serendipity,” I would write it out with the letters all curly and pretty because that’s the kind of feeling the word serendipity gives me.

  • make a worksheet of misspelled spelling words for students to correct

  • spell out words with play dough/sticks/paper clips (maybe send home an instruction sheet for parents to sign afterward)

These ideas are fun and interesting for students, while still effective in helping them practice and remember their spelling words. Doing these interesting activities will drill the spellings of the words into students’ minds in addition to helping them build a good understanding of their meanings. They will undoubtedly be a welcome relief from the horror of simply copying words endlessly...

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