The field of "word study" provides students an opportunity to manipulate words (and parts of words) in meaningful and enjoyable activities and games. Reading ability can develop dramatically as word study lessons develop experience with:
- Letters and their corresponding sounds
- Components of words, such as roots, prefixes, and suffixes
- Patterns of how words are spelled, such as word families
- How parts of words often will give hints to the meaning of a word, as well as its spelling or pronunciation
Word study activities call for active problem solving. Students are encouraged to look for spelling patterns, form hypotheses, predict outcomes, and test them. These activities require students to continually ask themselves, "What do I know about this new word, and how is it similar to words that I already know?"
At the Intermediate School, we utilize Kathy Ganske’s Word Journeys program. As students learn various word patterns, they will have the opportunity to practice applying these patterns to known and unknown words. Unlike a traditional spelling program that relies on memorization, this program ensures students have a solid understanding of spelling and pronunciation rules. When students are assessed, you will see words that have been practiced as well as new words that follow the patterns the students are studying.