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Home » Blog » Literacy » Word Work Activities
Written by: Angie Olson

Word work is an essential piece of the school day.  It can be practiced during daily 5, literacy centers, spelling practice, or whole group lessons, and, good news – word work is 100% Science of Reading-aligned! The important part isn’t when it is practiced but instead why and how.

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!

What is Word Work?

Word work is the practice of working with words in some capacity.  This can be working with a phonics pattern, memorizing sight words (also known as high-frequency words), looking at word families, producing rhyming words, practicing prefixes and suffixes and so much more.  Word work is important because it helps students develop into better readers, spellers, and writers.

Science of Reading Aligned

By now you have probably heard the buzz about the Science of Reading! If not, check out these informative and helpful posts:

4 Things You’ll Always See in Science of Reading Aligned Classrooms

Science of Reading Quick Wins for the Classroom

Science of Reading: Sample Literacy Block Schedule

Resources to Teach the Science of Reading Components

Let Katie from our team walk you through how to easily incorporate the Science of Reading into your classroom routine.

All Access member? Download the resources featured in the video free.

Science of Reading Word Work Tips

To ensure Science of Reading aligned word work in your classroom, be sure students are focusing on the phonics sounds that have been explicitly taught. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Introduce the phonics sound of the week before asking students practice this skill independently.
  • Practice high frequency words with a heart words routine (more on that below)

Think practice with a purpose using activities like the ones shown below.

Word Work Activities

There are many word work activities that students can do throughout the school day and at home to help them to become better readers, writers, and spellers.  Some of my favorite are the ones listed below because the activities don’t require any prep and the sheets are simply print and go! Click the links provided to download your favorite activities! (Each of these activities are also available in digital format.)

Heart Words

A highly effective way to teach high frequency words is the heart words strategy. Heart words don’t fit into the phonics sound, and need to be taught and practiced in a different way. Try using our heart words mat during small groups and our practice sheets for independent work.

All Access member? Download free here.

Watch our Heart Words routine in action below.

Grab heart word daily practice sheets as well.

Sound Mapping

Help students pull apart and blend sounds and words with these seasonal sound mapping sheets.

Get this exclusively on All Access 

toothy task kits

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Spelling Toothy™

Spelling Toothy™ is a lot of fun!  Students partner up.  Partner A gives partner B a word from the list.  Partner B writes the word.  If the word is written correctly, he/she gets to draw a tooth in Toothy’s mouth.  Partners switch roles once the list is finished.

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!
All Access member? Download free here.

Write Your Words

Before making a copy of this sheet, the teacher writes the spelling words in the left column.  The student then uses a pencil, pen, and marker to complete the activity.

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!
All Access member? Download free here.

Guess My Word

This word work activity is very similar to the game “Guess Who”. Students play this game with a partner.  Both partners have the same words and place them inside a privacy folder so they can read the words. Partner A chooses a word card and Partner B asks questions such as, “Does your word have the /a/ sound?”.  Partner B turns over any cards that don’t fit. Partners continue asking yes or no questions until the word is figured out.

All Access Member? Download free here.

Roll It

Roll It is a fun word work activity where the student chooses six spelling words that are tricky for them.  Those six words get written along the top under each dice.  Then the student rolls the dice and writes the word in the appropriate column.  The student keeps rolling until all of the columns are filled.

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!
All Access member? Download free here.

Scribble Spelling

Scribble Spelling is a student favorite!  Give students this scribble spelling template and a variety of markers.  Each space on the scribble spelling mat gets a word and it is written with the same color repeatedly. 

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!
All Access member? Download free here.

Ghost Spelling

This fun spelling activity truly is magical!  Students need a white crayon to write their words.  After he/she writes the word, rub a marker over top of the white crayon to reveal the ghost spelling word.  Be ready to hear the oooh’s and ahhhh’s!

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!
All Access member? Download free here.

Build Cover Spell

Grab a handful of magnet letters and watch the engagement happen with this build cover spell activity.  Students choose a word from their list.  Then build it with the magnet letters at the top of the sheet.  Then cover it with their hand or a piece of paper and while it is covered it needs to get written on the paper.

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!
All Access member? Download free here.

Pyramid Spelling

For this activity the student layers the letters in the word like a pyramid.  It’s a fun and simple way to practice words!

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!
All Access member? Download free here.

Spiral Spelling

Spiral spelling is a fun activity that will have the student spinning into success.  The student chooses a word and starts on the outside of the spiral and continues to repeat the word over and over until he/she has arrived to the center of the spiral.

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!
All Access member? Download free here.

Word Search

Students love word searches so why not have them make one!  This word search template is sure to excited and engage students all while providing them with opportunities to practice and study the words!

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!
All Access member? Download free here.

Box Spelling

Box spelling serves a couple of intentional purposes.  Not only are the students practicing how to spell the words but also are revisiting the formation of the letters!

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!
All Access member? Download free here.

Type and Spell

Give students a pretend keyboard and watch their eyes light up with excitement as they pretend to type their words!  So fun!

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!
All Access member? Download free here.

Study the Word

Study the Word is another activity that has several purposes.  Besides the obvious spelling practice, it also provides an opportunity for the students to practice their vowels, consonants, and syllables.

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!
All Access member? Download free here.

Crack the Code

Calling all detectives!  Students love Crack the Code!  Students create a “code” on the right side of the sheet.  When finished, they find a partner to exchange papers with and they solve each other’s codes by figuring out the spelling word for each line and writing it on the right side.  The paper gets folded.

Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!
All Access member? Download free here.
Do you find yourself looking for ways to spice up your word work stations or spelling practice in your classroom? Better yet, are you looking for ways to do this WITHOUT having to prep ANYTHING? These fun, engaging, & exciting activities help children practice their words effectively & are the perfect option for your 1st grade or 2nd grade class!

15 Comments

  1. Carolyn

    Amazing resources. Thank you

    Reply
  2. Lisa

    Thank you for all the great ideas!

    Reply
  3. Theresa

    Thank you ! I love the twist to get my students to study their spelling words! All week!

    Reply
  4. Kate Stefanek

    How can I get copies of your no prep spelling and word work.? I love them!

    Reply
  5. Dolores

    Excellent products 🙂

    Reply
  6. Jenny Brown

    Is it possible to get only a couple of these instead of the whole set? Do you have them listed individually, too?

    Reply
    • Bailey Jordan

      ​Hi Jenny! We would love to help you with this question, please email us at customerservice@luckylittlelearners.com and we will do our best to answer it for you! Thanks so much!

      Bailey J.
      Lucky Little Learners

      Reply
  7. BB

    Instead of “hangman” I make a silly monster or animal like a bunny and erase a part when they don’t get a letter in the word or draw a piece of the animal when they get guess a letter correctly.

    Reply
  8. Colleen Zanti

    I signed up for this because of the spelling and word work shown on your website, only to find out that I have to pay additional $$ to get this resource. The way it is advertised on your website, it should have been included in the plan I signed up for, at no additional cost.

    Reply
  9. Stephanie

    Hi,

    I have some of these from a file that I either purchased or recieved as a freebie for signing up to emails. I’m having trouble finding my digital file and am wondering what the file name would be on my computer. Would you be able to give me a word I may search for? OR I am specifically looking for the coloured version of the rainbow spelling card to print and laminate.

    Thank-you

    Reply
    • Jess Dalrymple

      Hello Stephanie! The rainbow spelling activity is included in our “No Prep Spelling Activities” Bundle. If you purchased this bundle in the past, you should be able to find it by searching for that title. I don’t believe the rainbow spelling activity was included in any freebies, but you can download the one you want for free by signing up for a free trial to our All Access Membership Library. Find the rainbow spelling options HERE. I hope this helps!

      Reply
  10. keysha

    I want all of these

    Reply

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Hey there!  I’m Angie, owner of Lucky Little Learners. Our #1 goal is to support K-2 teachers.  We provide unlimited access to over 20,000 printables that are aligned to your standards.