a multiple intelligences approach to spelling instruction

Michaela T. Jones
A Thesis
Submitted to the Graduate College of Bowling Green
State University in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of
May 2006
Dr. Cindy Hendricks, Advisor
Dr. Craig Mertler
Dr. Richard Oldrieve
© 2006
Michaela T. Jones
All Rights Reserved
Dr. Cindy Hendricks, Advisor
Spelling is a critical component of the language arts curriculum in early childhood
classrooms. Most teachers address spelling in the classroom and use a variety of strategies in
which to do so. The typical way these teachers implement spelling into the classroom is through
an approach that follows closely with a spelling textbook or series. This approach may also
include doing activities such as: memorization tasks, word sorts, writing spelling words in a
sentence, writing spelling words numerous times, putting the spelling words in alphabetical
order, unscrambling spelling words or solving puzzles, and looking words up in the dictionary.
All of these spelling activities typically used in elementary classrooms focus on the
linguistic, logical-mathematical, and intrapersonal intelligences in the brain. Although these
activities are beneficial for most students, some students may not have strengths in using these
three intelligences. Because all children have a unique blend of intellectual strengths, some
students may not perform well on the spelling tests at the end of the week by using the typical
strategies or activities to study.
This research study was designed to incorporate the other human intelligences into
spelling activities completed throughout the week to determine whether other intelligences
helped second grade students achieve a higher score on their spelling tests at the end of the week.
Although there was not a significant difference among the overall test scores in the three classes
chosen for this study, the new activities had a positive impact on many of the individual second
grade students.
CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION......................................................................................1
Statement of the Problem......................................................................................3
Research Question ................................................................................................3
Rationale ...............................................................................................................3
Definition of Terms...............................................................................................4
Limitations ............................................................................................................6
CHAPTER II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE...........................................................7
History of Spelling Instruction..............................................................................8
Spelling Instruction Today..................................................................................11
Controversy of Spelling ......................................................................................12
Importance of Spelling........................................................................................15
Spelling as a Developmental Process .................................................................16
Common Myths about Spelling ..........................................................................18
Multiple Intelligences .........................................................................................19
Linguistic Intelligence ............................................................................20
Musical Intelligence................................................................................20
Logical-Mathematical Intelligence .........................................................21
Visual-Spatial Intelligence......................................................................21
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence ..............................................................22
Intrapersonal Intelligence........................................................................22
Interpersonal Intelligence........................................................................23
Naturalist Intelligence.............................................................................23
Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom .............................................................23
Teachers and Multiple Intelligences ...................................................................25
Multiple Intelligences and Spelling ....................................................................26
Summary .............................................................................................................30
CHAPTER III. METHODS AND PROCEDURES .......................................................32
Research Design......................................................................................33
Subjects ...................................................................................................33
Instrumentation .......................................................................................35
Data Collection ...................................................................................................41
Data Analysis ......................................................................................................41
Summary .............................................................................................................42
Data Analysis ......................................................................................................43
Mean, Median, Mode, Range..................................................................43
Analysis of Variance...............................................................................48
Discussion of Results..........................................................................................52
Summary .............................................................................................................53
Summary of the Findings....................................................................................54
Recommendations for Further Study ..................................................................57
Summary .............................................................................................................59
REFERENCES ...............................................................................................................60
APPENDIX A. Attendance.............................................................................................63
APPENDIX B. Lists of Spelling Words for Class A......................................................65
APPENDIX C. Lists of Spelling Words for Class B ......................................................67
APPENDIX D. Lists of Spelling Words for Class C......................................................69
APPENDIX E. Calendar of Multiple Intelligence Activities .........................................71
APPENDIX F. Class A Spelling Scores .........................................................................73
APPENDIX G. Class B Spelling Scores.........................................................................75
APPENDIX H. Class C Spelling Scores.........................................................................77
Three week schedule of control and conditioned classrooms.........................................39
General schedule of spelling activities in the control classroom....................................40
Class A Mean, Median, Mode, and Range of Weekly Scores........................................44
Class B Mean, Median, Mode, and Range of Weekly Scores ........................................46
Class C Mean, Median, Mode, and Range of Weekly Scores ........................................47
Analysis of Variance Results for Week 1 .......................................................................49
Analysis of Variance Results for Week 2 .......................................................................50
Analysis of Variance Results for Week 3 .......................................................................51
Spelling instruction has been a part of elementary schools for well over 200 years
(Bloodgood, 1991). Since the late 1700s, spelling textbooks, workbooks, basal spellers, and other
teaching materials have been published and utilized throughout many elementary school
classrooms to assist students in their ability to spell. Some textbooks focus on spelling,
pronunciation, and grammar; many include drills or activities to complete in a sequence, and
others rely heavily on weekly word lists (Templeton & Morris, 2001). Many activities that
accompany these textbooks include: rote memorization of words, words written numerous times,
fill-in-the-blank questions, matching, unscrambling words, and translating words into a secret
puzzle (Schlagal, 2003). All elementary school educators approach the teaching of spelling in
different ways, and implement different activities throughout the week (Schlagal, 2003).
Gentry (2004) believes that, overall, there are seven methods of instruction typically
implemented in elementary classrooms to teach spelling. The first method of instruction
emphasizes word lists. This approach is very structured and is taught using a spelling book.
Spelling that focuses on word lists is usually a component of a basal reading program as well.
The second form of spelling instruction relies on word lists as well, although the teachers give
above, current, and below grade level lists to their students depending on their level of
achievement (Gentry, 2004). Having individualized word lists allows students to concentrate on
words they need to know, or have been misspelling in their writing.
A third approach to teaching spelling in the elementary grades involves common spelling
patterns. Gentry (2004) said, “This method engages children in learning the common patterns
found in English spelling” (p. 44). A common technique in learning these patterns is word
sorting. Word sorting helps students recognize the patterns until they become automatic. Another
way spelling is taught in the classroom is through incidental reading and writing opportunities.
Students use the different contexts to learn spelling as they complete different activities. This
approach to spelling instruction may look completely different for each individual in the class, as
he/she learns through his/her personal experiences with text. Focusing on just the writing
activities is another method to use when teaching spelling. This is closely related to the
incidental approach, but relies solely on writing instruction. Teachers look for teachable
moments or opportunities to incorporate appropriate mini-lessons about spelling into writing
lessons (Gentry, 2004).
A method frequently used in recent years, consist what Gentry (2004) calls “Fad
Programs,” (p. 44). These programs are popular among teachers without a textbook or other
spelling resource (i.e. a visualization technique). Although these techniques are new, they have
little or no research base supporting their effectiveness. The final method is a “Teacher’s
Choice” method for spelling instruction, frequently used among teachers. The teachers who
implement this form of instruction combine any of the six other teaching methods, or simply
come up with their own personal teaching technique. This is generally a default method used
among teachers who have no resources or available training (Gentry, 2004).
Spelling instruction is a very important aspect of the elementary school curriculum,
regardless of how teachers implement its instruction in the classroom (Schlagal, 2003). Over the
years, spelling has been taught both as a separate task in learning to read and write, and as a
subject within the language arts curriculum (Bloodgood, 1991). Teachers need to know how to
teach spelling in the elementary years because it is the most beneficial time to provide young
students with knowledge and opportunities to strengthen the relationship between reading and
writing skills (Bloodgood, 1991).
Statement of the Problem
Even with the vast amount of spelling textbooks and other material aids available, many
teachers are implementing an explicit word list approach or an approach that relies heavily on the
use of a book to teach spelling. These methods are common among teachers with a traditional
approach toward instruction. A teacher with a traditional approach sees value in a weekly routine
of memorization, repeated drills, and spelling tests as a way to remember spelling words (Marten
& Graves, 2003). Many of the spelling curricula used by teachers with a traditional approach are
designed for students to take part in this exact routine. This weekly plan may be structured for
the students, but isn’t a valuable way for students to learn how to spell. Bloodgood (1991), Matz
(1994), Larson, Hammill, and Moats (1999), and Schlagal (2003) believe that memory is not a
sufficient tool to make spelling meaningful and lasting. Memorizing words each week and
completing drills may allow some students to be successful on weekly tests, but most students
will forget the spelling of these words after Friday (Schlagal, 2003). It seems as though this
teaching method tests the student’s ability to memorize rather than their ability to spell.
Research Question
The specific question to be investigated was: “How are second grade spelling scores
impacted when spelling instruction is enhanced using different multiple intelligence activities?”
Using activities for spelling that incorporate the multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983)
should meet the needs of each child in the classroom. Hopper and Hurry (2000) explain that a
multiple intelligences approach emphasizes the student’s exploration and understanding of
his/her learning process. This method of teaching should support and develop each student’s
strengths in learning to spell (Shearer, 2004). All students should be able to learn in ways that are
most beneficial for them as individuals (Sweet, 1998). All children possess the eight
intelligences (Stanford, 2003) but may not have the same profile of strengths and weaknesses.
According to Osburg (1995), “a multiple intelligence approach entails multiple entry points to
important concepts so that learning opportunities are maximized for every child” (p. 16).
Students who don’t have strength in strictly memorizing a list of words will have numerous ways
to remember the patterns and spelling of their words instead. Because there are eight different
intelligences, a wide variety of activities that include one or more intelligence can be taught
throughout the year. It is important that the students identify their strengths and weakness when
participating in these activities as well. Once the students recognize what works best for them,
they can concentrate on maximizing their learning through one or more intelligence. Even
though spelling is taught to every child, he/she does not have to learn in the exact same way.
Definition of Terms
This section is comprised of terms used in this research study.
Intelligence- the ability to think and learn skills as well as apply them (Gardner, 1983).
Multiple Intelligences- the several independent forms of human intelligence that exist
according to Howard Gardner (1983). The intelligences include: linguistic, logical-mathematical,
visual-spatial, bodily kinesthetic, musical, naturalist, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.
Orthography- “the rules that govern how words are represented in writing” (Carreker,
2005, p. 265).
Reformist View of Spelling- A teacher with a reformist approach does not rely on
textbooks, memorization, drills, and tests to guide their instruction. He/She teaches students
strategies to use when remembering words (Matz, 1994).
Spelling- the ability to form words by arranging letters in a proper order (Larson,
Hammill, & Moats, 1999).
Tactile Methods- relating to or used for the sense of touch (included in the bodily kinesthetic
Traditional View of Spelling- A teacher with a traditional approach to teaching spelling
sees value in a weekly routine of memorization, repeated drills, and spelling tests, as a way to
remember spelling words (Marten & Graves, 2003). In this specific study, the definition of
traditional instruction is very similar to the definition of Marten & Graves. A traditional
approach to spelling instruction in the three second grade classrooms consists of using a spelling
series to guide instruction, memorizing a new list of words each week, completing word sorts,
writing the words in isolation, writing words in sentences, completing proofreading or “solve the
puzzle” worksheets, and giving the students a test at the end of the week.
Types of Spelling Series- Blue-backed speller, McGuffey Reader, Basal Speller
(Bloodgood, 1991).
This research study was designed to determine whether activities using the multiple
intelligences positively impacted the spelling scores of second graders. It was not intended to
replace the current traditional approach of spelling in the three second grade classrooms. The
activities were implemented to enhance the student’s spelling abilities, giving them multiple
ways to practice and study their spelling words each week.
Because this study was only three weeks in duration, the students did not have time to
complete activities in all eight areas of intelligence (Gardner, 1983). Each class only completed
activities in two of the eight areas of intelligence. This may not have given the students the
opportunity to find activities or intelligences that were specifically helpful toward their ability to
The school chosen for participation in this research study was self-selected by the
researcher according to the teachers’ spelling techniques. The school was located in a rural area.
Although the school chosen for this research study had three second grade classrooms,
only two of the three teachers taught spelling. Class B and C were taught by the same teacher
because they switched for language arts and math instruction. The three classes were also not
practicing the same list of words each week. Class A was two units ahead of Class B and C in the
spelling series.
Over the course of the three weeks, there were many students absent from the three
classes. Some were absent for the spelling activities, and other students were absent on the day of
the spelling test (see Appendix A for the attendance chart). In addition to daily absences, there
was no school for the students at this particular elementary school on a particular day due to a
teacher work day. Class B and C only received three activities during the second week of the
research study instead of four.
The purpose of this chapter is to review previous research regarding spelling instruction
and the use of multiple intelligences in the classroom. This chapter is divided into ten sections
that lay out important information for the design and purpose of this research study. The first
section of this chapter begins by discussing the history of spelling. Research supports the
spelling instruction that has been implemented over the years along with some specific
techniques teachers used as well. This leads into the second section of the chapter, what spelling
instruction looks like today in the classroom. This chapter explains the ways in which spelling
has evolved and ways it has not changed since it was first introduced many years ago. The third
section of the chapter deals with the ongoing controversy of spelling instruction. Research
supports both sides of the debate between teachers and researchers on the best way to teach
spelling in the classroom. Section four discusses the reasons why there is such controversy over
spelling instruction. This section is comprised of statements and support for why spelling is so
important during the elementary school years.
The fifth section of this chapter discusses the stages of spelling development. There are
four stages through which a child passes when learning and establishing awareness for spelling
knowledge. This section discusses the stages and type of spelling that might occur from the
child. Section six reviews the common misconceptions of spelling in the classroom. This section
discusses reasons why spelling instruction may be unsuccessful in the classroom.
The seventh section of this chapter introduces the theory of multiple intelligences. It
describes how the theory originated, along with the eight different forms of human intelligence.
The specific multiple intelligences chosen for this research study are also explained in this
section. The reasons why multiple intelligences should be used in the classroom are discussed
and supported in section eight. The ninth section describes what the teacher can do in the
elementary classroom when implementing multiple intelligence activities. The last section
discusses various multiple intelligence activities, in the areas of bodily-kinesthetic (including
tactile approaches), visual-spatial, musical, naturalist, and interpersonal, likely to be beneficial
for students during spelling instruction.
History of Spelling Instruction
Spelling instruction has been in the elementary curriculum since 1783, when Noah
Webster introduced the first Blue-Backed Speller (Bloodgood, 1991). This type of text, along
with others such as the McGuffey Reader, taught pronunciation and grammar as well as spelling.
These spelling texts included pronunciation and grammar because spelling was integrated into
the language arts instruction. These early spellers contained word lists as long as 50 words for all
of the students to memorize for weekly assessments. The lists were given to all students in a
grade level regardless of developmental levels, and they were to be studied as a rote
memorization task (Schlagal, 2003). Rote memorization was used as the study technique because
it was assumed that the English language was too irregular to teach and would be best achieved
through memorization. This technique led to the emphasis of teaching students to develop a
memory for the spelling of words (Templeton & Morris, 2001).
Spelling books, such as the basal speller, continued to be published in the 19th and 20th
century, although many teachers were now starting to focus on spelling as a lesson separate from
language arts. These spelling texts still offered long lists of words to be learned each week, but
there were no common features among the selected words. Research on spelling instruction
throughout the 20th century focused specifically on the issue of memorization, and the concern
for using words with no commonality each week. The question was raised whether spelling
should be taught in context (i.e. during reading or writing instruction) or to continue using a list
of words each week (Schlagal, 2003). It was soon accepted that words in lists were supported
over teaching words in context (Templeton & Morris, 2001). Memorization continued to be the
way in which to learn spelling.
Researchers in the 20th century also wanted to compare the methods of study-test (i.e.
study words during the week and take the test on Friday), and test-study-test assessment (i.e. take
a pretest on Monday, study missed words during the week, and retest all the words Friday) that
teachers used in the classroom. The test-study-test method of assessment was supported over the
study-test routine (Templeton & Morris, 2001). Teachers implemented this approach as a way to
study a list of words in the classroom.
Schlagal (2003) states that “it wasn’t until the 1930s that educators began to organize
spelling lists around words most frequently used in reading and writing” (p. 46). High frequency
words make up about 98% of vocabulary words used by both students and adults in and out of
school. Using high frequency words offered a better guarantee that the words students were
given to spell would be ones they would need in other subject areas. Teachers also had more
control over the difficulty of words in a list (i.e. word length). This seemed to be a more
beneficial way to make multiple lists of words for the school year. During the 1930s and 1940s,
new strategies to study high frequency words, involving memory, were developed. Some
memory activities included writing the spelling words multiple times, closing the eyes to
visualize the word into memory, and self-correcting misspelled words (Schlagal, 2003). The
emphasis was still on memorizing, but there were a few ways in which to store high frequency
words into short and long-term memory.
Even though high frequency words were beginning to make up spelling lists, the
researchers in the 1950s brought much criticism toward the words used in basal spellers. Many
argued that the words may have been screened for difficulty, but were not promoting
orthographic generalizations. There were still no patterns or common features among the lists.
Because of this criticism and research, creators of basal spellers began to design a more
functioning spelling system that incorporated common characteristics in the word lists (Schlagal,
2003). For example, words may have been chosen for common letter-sound patterns (i.e. –at
words). During this time period, the use of word lists in spelling texts was still supported over
the use of spelling in context.
After the 1950s and 1960s, word lists in spelling instruction were beginning to use
curriculum-based spelling words each week (i.e. words incorporated into the content areas of
science, social studies, and math) (Schlagal, 2003). These lists may have been challenging
because they weren’t high frequency, but they were words necessary in other aspects of the
school curriculum.
Published spelling series and word lists have been continually used through the late
1900s. In a matter of 30 years, spelling lists have changed from using only high frequency
words, to lists with common features or patterns, and finally to curriculum-based lists. They had
been changed and modified several times depending on their frequency or usefulness, other
content-based information, and patterns among the words selected. The test-study-test approach
is continued in many classrooms as a way to assess students’ ability to spell words. Spelling is
still often taught using word lists, although new approaches to instruction are being researched.
Spelling Instruction Today
The methodology of spelling has not changed very much over the last few decades, but
the specific activities and ways of implementing them in the classroom have. Teachers went
from considering spelling simply as a tool or skill for writing, to recognizing that spelling offers
much knowledge on what an individual knows about words. Instead of viewing spelling as a
memorization task, more teachers are exploring spelling as a subject of instruction and as a
linguistic task for reading and writing (Templeton & Morris, 2001). Westwood (1999) states, “A
perspective is emerging now that a well-balanced combination of a direct instruction approach
and incidental approach is required to ensure that all students have the opportunity to become
proficient spellers” (p. 1). Spelling skills can be strengthened through both explicit activities or
lessons, and authentic writing tasks in the classroom. Some teachers are also trying to teach their
student strategies in which to use when learning to spell new words. Students should understand
the importance of knowing how to learn the spelling of new words. Some strategies include
mastering syllables in words, remembering visual appearances of words, utilizing the meaning of
words, and comparing new words with words already taught (Gentry, 2004).
Although some teachers are trying new ways to teach spelling, most teachers have not
considered spelling an important aspect of linguistic processing. Public schools are still
exhibiting limited enthusiasm toward spelling instruction (Templeton & Morris, 2001). Many
teachers have resorted back to, or kept using, spelling lists and tests because they are unsure as to
how to implement a better approach into the curriculum (Westwood, 1999). Johnston (2001)
reports that in a survey given to 42 public classroom teachers, grades 2-5, 57% taught spelling
through workbook exercises; 53% used pretests at the beginning of the week; 33% did activities
that required the students to use the spelling words in a sentence; 29% of the teachers had their
students put their list of spelling words in alphabetical order; 29% had their students write their
spelling words five times each, and 24% of teachers had their students look their words up in the
dictionary. These teacher practices and traditional weekly cycles are still deeply ingrained in
educational practices (Matz, 1994). The teachers who implement these weekly routines know
that they should be doing more in the classroom. In the same study of 42 public classroom
teachers, grades 2-5, Johnston reported that 74% said children today generally spell worse than
children did in the past, and 73% didn’t feel spelling was adequately addressed in the school
curriculum. The teacher must assume an active role in teaching his/her students to spell if he/she
wants to see success.
Many teachers today are still using a textbook to guide their spelling instruction in the
classroom. According to Morris, Blanton, Blanton, and Perney (1995), “Textbooks are still a
staple in the classroom, and traditionalists argue for continued use of spelling books in the
elementary grades” (p. 146). The use of a textbook influences teacher instruction in the
classroom. Morris, Blanton, Blanton, and Perney (1995) believe that “it is important for
researchers and educators to understand how teachers use spelling books in the classroom and
how the use of the books affects student achievement” (p. 146). Traditional methods may stem
from a lack of knowledge that there can be alternative techniques in spelling instruction (Abbott,
2001). More attention needs to be given to developing a knowledge base in the content and
application of a spelling curriculum (Templeton & Morris, 2001).
Controversy of Spelling
There has yet to be solid confirmation of the most effective way to teach spelling in the
elementary classroom. Gentry (1987) states, “I can’t think of any subject we teach more poorly
or harbor more myths about than spelling” (p. 12). Much research has been conducted, but over
the past several years, there has been considerable controversy among teachers and researchers
regarding appropriate spelling instruction (Schlagal, 2003). The controversy of spelling
instruction has been battled between teachers and researchers with a traditional view and those
with a reformist view. The traditional view of a classroom teacher sees the importance of a
weekly routine. A teacher with a traditional view will typically give his/her students a list of
words at the beginning of the week, complete drills during the week, and give a test at the end of
the week (Scott, 2000). Marten and Graves (2003) argue that, “Traditional spelling is more a rote
routine than an engaging craft; the focus is on memorization, the word lists, the lessons, and the
spelling tests” (p. 22). The lists that are given to students may have an overall common trait (i.e.
homophones) but the words themselves must be memorized as separate items. Memorizing these
words may help some students succeed on the Friday test, but many students will have lost the
spelling of the words by Monday (Schlagal, 2003). If students cannot remember their spelling
words on the Monday after their test, they will not be able to spell the words correctly when
writing or putting the words to actual use.
Quite often, teachers with a traditional view will rely heavily on the use of a spelling
textbook as well. These spelling books are created for a specific grade level of instruction and
are used regardless of the various needs of the students in the class (Schlagal, 2003). Not all
students are at the same level developmentally, which can make it difficult for some students to
complete the activities from a textbook or workbook (Larson, Hammill, & Moats, 1999). The
methods or activities in a textbook or workbook provide little or no direction for students to
practice and study for the end of the week test (Scott, 2000).
A teacher with a reformist view would argue that traditional instruction is more assigning
and testing spelling, than actual teaching (Marten & Graves, 2003). Marten and Graves (2003)
wonder whether teachers can say they are teaching spelling when they give a pretest on Monday,
provide homework activities during the week, and give a final test on Friday. Although explicit
spelling instruction should be provided in the classroom, students should not be completing
isolated workbook activities and copying their words over and over (Thomas & Sullivan 1995).
Schlagal (2003) agrees, “Activities like unscrambling words, translating them into secret codes,
alphabetizing them, and looking them up in the dictionary are unlikely to promote orthographic
learning” (p. 53). There are very few spelling textbooks that engage students in activities to help
them perceive, manipulate, or become familiar with the orthographic generalizations illustrated
in the weekly word lists (Schlagal, 2003).
A teacher with a reformist view also believes that students should not be tested on words
for which they have no immediate use. Many of the words from a textbook or commercially
made word list are usually words that are of little use outside of spelling. These words can be
easily forgotten if they don’t have a purpose in other activities or lessons. Gathering words from
other content areas, such as math, science, social studies, and language arts, will benefit the
students because the words will be used in contexts outside the subject of spelling (Matz, 1994).
The students will then encounter the words, the spelling of the word, and the meaning of the
word multiple times during the week.
Teachers with a reformist view on spelling instruction want to help children become
proficient spellers by providing them with strategies in remembering the words, and by giving
opportunities to use those strategies in many ways (Matz, 1994). Reformists don’t want to rely
on textbooks, workbook activities, rote memorization, and spelling tests to guide their weekly
instruction. Bloodgood (1991) says, “Students really know words when they internalize them
through repeated use and they explore or test the underlying rules of how words work” (p. 206).
Reformers are having difficulty finding the most efficient approach to spelling instruction
though. According to Bloodgood (1991), “The ostensibly ‘tried and true’ approach to spelling
clearly isn’t working, but there are currently no viable alternatives” (p. 203). Johnston (2001)
concludes, “While classroom teachers, like other educators and researchers, will probably never
reach consensus about the best way to teach spelling, they do need clear understandings of how
to create and/or implement spelling programs that meet the wide range of student needs” (p.
Importance of Spelling
Regardless of the teaching style or instructional technique, spelling is an extremely
important aspect of the school curriculum, especially in language arts. Acquiring spelling
knowledge in kindergarten, first and second grade opens the door to early literacy and beginning
reading (Gentry, 1997). When young children begin to learn the letters of the alphabet and the
sounds each letter makes, they are acquiring knowledge of the alphabetic system, as well as
knowledge they can use toward spelling words. By using this letter-sound knowledge to form
words, despite the fact they may initially spell words incorrectly, children are spelling (Gentry,
1997). Students need to know how to spell words to communicate their ideas in written language
(Thomas & Sullivan, 1995). Gentry (1997) explains, “Spelling is a tool for writing. The purpose
of learning to spell is so that writing may become easier, more fluent, more expressive, and more
easily read and understood by others” (p. 1). Whenever a word is written, the sounds, syllables,
letter patterns, and meaningful associations of the word are retrieved (Larson, Hammill, &
Moats, 1999). Once children are comfortable writing and communicating words, they can begin
to read those words as well. Graham, Harris, and Chorzempa (2003) believe, “Learning about
spelling can enhance children’s reading development, especially their ability to pronounce words
correctly and decode unknown words” (p. 66).
The skills required for learning to spell, read, and write are all interrelated (Abbott,
2001). Spelling can and should be taught as an interesting task that strengthens those
relationships among reading, writing, and vocabulary knowledge (Bloodgood, 1991). The
ultimate goal of spelling instruction, beyond teaching patterns and rules of English, is to create
enthusiasm for language (Carreker, 2005).
Spelling as a Developmental Process
Carreker (2005) suggests, “To understand the vital role spelling plays in learning to read,
it is important to understand how spelling develops” (p. 259). Spelling is developed at a young
age through a series of four stages, which is why spelling instruction is critical in a child’s first
few years of elementary school. If children aren’t developing spelling strategies and gaining
knowledge of words, they will run into reading and writing difficulties as they advance into
higher grade levels (Carreker, 2005).
Before children actually begin writing or spelling around the age of three and four, they
draw pictures to represent their thoughts or to convey meaning. These pictures are typically
drawn randomly on a page with no order or sequence (Carreker, 2005). Children are usually able
to understand what their drawings say though, regardless of the organization. At this time,
children are also learning how to spell their names, sing the alphabet song, and recite rhymes
(Gentry, 2004). These techniques or activities help prepare young children for the first stage in
spelling development.
When children eventually begin to differentiate between writing and drawing, at the age
of five or six, they are in the first stage of spelling development. This first stage of spelling is the
pre-phonetic or pre-alphabetic stage. In this stage of development, children scribble or write
forms that look similar to letters and numbers. Sometimes children will write letters they know
(i.e. letters of their name) spontaneously in their writing as well. They understand what writing
looks like, but they don’t know the concepts of print yet. Children may not leave spaces in
between their words, write in a left to right progression, or know how long a word should be. It
isn’t until a child understands that letters represent sounds that he/she emerges into the second
stage of spelling development (Carreker, 2005).
When children begin to understand the letter/sound relationship, they are in the semiphonetic stage (Gentry, 2004). Children realize that the sounds they hear in oral language can be
represented in print. Young children will begin using letters of the alphabet in their writing, but
will only write one letter per syllable (Carreker, 2005). For example, a child may write “nf” for
the word enough, or “b” for the word bee. However, as children become even more aware of
letter sounds, they reach the third stage of development. This stage is called the phonetic stage
and usually occurs at the age of six or seven (Carreker, 2005; Gentry, 2004). Children in this
stage have mastered the alphabetic principle because they recognize that each individual letter
has at least one sound. They continue to write words, now being able to write one letter for each
sound they hear (mostly consonants), and the children are able to write in a left to right
progression (Carreker, 2005). Words may still run together though, as if there are no boundaries
on the page.
Children who can understand and grasp the concept of phonics, move into a transitional
stage of spelling. Children in this stage incorporate more vowels in their writing and demonstrate
knowledge of spelling patterns (Carreker, 2005). Children at the age of seven or eight can use
chunks or groups of letters to write words (i.e. CVC patterns, or short and long vowel patterns)
(Gentry, 2004). Although children master skills in the transitional stage of spelling, they are
constantly gaining new knowledge about spelling as the words, patterns, and principles get more
difficult (Gentry, 1987). The concepts and strategies of spelling become more automatic as
children progress up through eighth grade (Gentry, 2004). The more experiences children have
with print at a young age, the more successful they will be with reading and spelling in the
Common Myths about Spelling
Many teachers have misperceived the goals and importance of spelling development in
the classroom. Gentry (1987) believes that “because of ignorance, misunderstanding, and poor
teaching methods, myths about spelling are lived out daily in thousands of classrooms” (p. 7).
Harboring these myths about spelling instruction can interfere with the student’s process of
learning to spell. A very common myth among many teachers is that good spellers memorize a
lot of information and can master a lot of rules. Memorizing a list of words may help complete
short-term assignments, or assessments, but it does not allow a student to become a good speller.
Good spellers find strategies that work best for them, and they can apply that knowledge when
writing (Gentry, 1987). Good spellers don’t try and learn every spelling rule either. They find
rules that work to their benefit to succeed.
Another myth about spelling is that good spellers have to do hundreds of spelling book
exercises and receive 100% on spelling tests (Gentry, 1987). The amount of time students spend
on these tedious drills would be more valuable if they could complete activities in which they
applied their spelling knowledge. Too many workbook activities can actually cause children to
apply desperate measures when completing them (Schlagal, 2003). They will do anything to get
them finished as soon as possible. Doing well on spelling tests also doesn’t necessarily mean that
children are good spellers (Gentry, 1987). There are many children who can apply and use a lot
of spelling strategies, but are nervous test-takers. These spelling tests don’t always represent a
complete and accurate picture of a child’s ability.
The last common myth that many teachers portray in the classroom is that spelling errors
should not be tolerated (Gentry, 1987). Teachers often reduce grades or make corrections on
students’ papers, which can send the wrong message to students. According to Gentry, “Making
errors is natural for learning to spell. Spelling errors should be expected and encouraged as
students try to invent and modify their spelling” (p. 9). Students should be expected to correctly
spell what they’ve already mastered developmentally, but should also be allowed to make
mistakes when spelling and writing new words.
Multiple Intelligences
More than 20 years ago, a psychologist named Howard Gardner challenged the common
view of intelligence and came up with his own theory known as multiple intelligences. The
theory states that each individual has the capacity for several intellectual competences. Gardner
(1983) believes, “there exist some intelligences, that these are relatively independent of one
another, and that they can be fashioned and combined in a multiplicity of adaptive ways by
individuals and cultures” (p. 9). Gardner’s theory is concerned with the differences in the process
of learning (Silver, Strong, & Perini, 1997), which is why intelligence should not be viewed or
tested as one whole piece, but as specific components (Gardner, 1983). Every individual has
talents and weaknesses that can be categorized into eight different characteristic groups. These
various groups or intelligences Gardner found include linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical,
spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, and naturalist. Each area of intelligence
is broken into further detail to describe what the eight intelligences encompass individually.
Linguistic Intelligence
The linguistic intelligence relates closely to the skills involved in written and oral
language. Shearer (2004) explains, “The core features of linguistic intelligence include the ability
to use words effectively for reading, writing, and speaking. Linguistic skills are important for
providing explanations, descriptions, and expressiveness” (p. 4). Many individuals with strength
in the linguistic intelligence have the ability to write poetry, or write with expression (Gardner,
1983). Gardner believes poets and other talented writers have a keen sense of semantics
(meaning of words), phonology (sounds of words), pragmatics (uses of language), and syntax
(rules of language) to craft their unique words and ideas.
Another component of the linguistic intelligence is verbal memory. “The ability to retain
information like lengthy verbal lists is another form of linguistic intelligence” (Gardner, 1983, p.
92). Because of this memory strength, words come easy to someone with strength in the
linguistic intelligence. The flow of ideas is constant because they have so many words in their
verbal memory. Regardless of the specific area of strength, emphasis is placed both on the
written word and oral language in the linguistic intelligence (Gardner, 1983).
Musical Intelligence
The intelligence that emerges earlier among individuals than any other intelligence is
musical talent. Shearer (2004) explains, “Musical intelligence includes sensitivity to pitch
(melody), rhythm, and timbre (tone quality) and the emotional aspects of sound as pertaining to
the functional areas of musical appreciation, singing, and playing an instrument” (p. 4). To have
strength in the musical intelligence, individuals must have auditory abilities as well (Gardner,
1983). These auditory abilities not only allow individuals to hear and make music, they also
permit the individual to remember the music experience. Gardner explains, “The musical mind is
concerned with tonal memory. A great percentage of what is heard becomes submerged in the
unconscious and is subject to literal recall” (p. 102). Music is often incorporated into other
intelligence strengths because of the memory component. Composers and performers are
examples of individuals with a musical strength.
Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
Another form of human intellect is the logical-mathematical intelligence. Shearer (2004)
says the “logical mathematical intelligence involves skill in calculations as well as logical
reasoning and problem solving” (p. 4). Mathematicians are not the only individuals with
strengths in this intelligence. Any individual whom is able to calculate rapidly, estimate,
complete arithmetic problems, understand or reason the relationships among numbers, solve
patterns or complete orderings, and read calendars or other notational systems has a strength in
this intelligence (Gardner, 1983).
Visual-Spatial Intelligence
Spatial intelligence is sometimes referred to as visual-spatial intelligence. This
intelligence encompasses the abilities to represent the world through mental images and artistic
expression (Shearer, 2004). Gardner (1983) claims, “Central to spatial intelligence are the
capacities to perceive the visual world accurately, to perform transformations and modifications
upon one’s initial perceptions, and to be able to re-create aspects of one’s visual experience, even
in the absence of relevant physical stimuli” (p. 173). There are many professions or individuals
who need strength in the spatial intelligence. For example, a sailor needs to be able to navigate
his boat through the spatial world; an architect has to utilize a specific amount of space to
construct a building, and a quarterback has to be able to approximate how far away the receivers
are on the football field (Checkley, 1997). This intelligence deals with the objects and space
encountered on a daily basis.
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
A very active intelligence for individuals is the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. Shearer
(2004) explains, “The kinesthetic intelligence highlights the ability to use one’s body (or parts of
the body) in differentiated ways for both expressive (dance, acting) and goal-directed activities
(athletics)” (p. 5). Dancers and swimmers for example develop mastery in moving their bodies in
specific ways. There are also individuals who are able to manipulate objects with great skill,
such as baseball players and instrumentalists. All individuals with a bodily-kinesthetic strength
use their muscles to control their body movements, have hand-eye coordination, and are able to
manipulate objects in the environment to complete a task or get a message across (Gardner,
Intrapersonal Intelligence
There are two intelligences that relate to an individual’s sense of self. The first personal
intelligence deals with the internal aspects of an individual. It is known as the intrapersonal
intelligence. Shearer (2004) explains, “Vital functions of intrapersonal intelligence include
accurate self-appraisal, goal setting, self-monitoring or correction, and emotional selfmanagement” (p. 6). If an individual has intrapersonal strengths, he/she is able to understand
who he/she is as a person, what his/her abilities are, how he/she reacts to things, and what he/she
wants to do in life (Checkley, 1997). These individuals can make decisions and guide their own
behavior without consulting other people.
Interpersonal Intelligence
The second intelligence dealing with people and a sense of self is interpersonal. The
interpersonal intelligence, as opposed to intrapersonal intelligence, deals with the ability to
understand other people. Shearer (2004) states, “interpersonal intelligence promotes success in
managing relationships with other people. Its two central skills are the ability to notice and make
distinctions among other individuals and the ability to recognize the emotions, moods,
perspectives, and motivations of people” (p. 6). Any individual working with other people on a
daily basis, such as teachers, doctors, policemen, or sales people need to be skilled in this
intelligence to be successful in his/her workplace (Checkley, 1997). It would be rather difficult
for some individuals to work with someone they could not understand or with whom they could
not relate.
Naturalist Intelligence
Many years after Gardner wrote his book, Frames of Mind, he found another form of
intelligence. Gardner’s eighth human intellect is the naturalist intelligence. Shearer (2004)
explains, “A person strong in the naturalist intelligence displays empathy, recognition, and
understanding for living and natural things (plants, animals, geology)” (p. 6). There are many
careers that require naturalist skills, such as farmers, scientists, geologists, and individuals whom
observe natural behaviors (Shearer, 2004). Although there are many careers that need strength in
the naturalist intelligence, many individuals can possess strength in this intelligence by simply
understanding and appreciating the natural world.
Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom
When dealing with multiple intelligences, no two individuals have the same intellectual
strengths and abilities. Stanford (2003) reports, “Each person has capacities in all eight
intelligences, but the eight intelligences function together in ways unique to each person” (p. 80).
Knowing and understanding the unique ways in which the eight intelligences work together can
be very beneficial for individuals. Gardner (1983) finds it very important to “identify an
individual’s intellectual profile of abilities at a young age and then draw upon this knowledge to
enhance that person’s educational opportunities and options” (p. 10). Once teachers recognize
the profiles of their students’ abilities, they can consider developing ways to incorporate
opportunities for every student to reach success.
Since Gardner’s book (1983) was published, educators have been discussing enthusiastic
ways to consider using multiple intelligences in the classroom (Osburg, 1995). By adopting the
use of multiple intelligences in the classroom, and having a multiple intelligence perspective on
content instruction, teachers may see a profound difference in their teaching style, curriculum as
a whole, and the organization of their classroom (Shearer, 2004). Once teachers can really view
the different forms of human intellect, they will have more effective ways of educating the
students in the classroom (Gardner, 1983). Using multiple intelligences for instruction in the
classroom is an effective tool that can help achieve educational goals as well (Hopper & Hurray,
2000). Because there are eight intellectual competencies in the brain, teachers can incorporate
several new and different ways of approaching tasks using one or even a combination of multiple
Multiple intelligence strategies are also an excellent way for motivating students and for
allowing changes to be made in the way children learn (Hopper & Hurray, 2000). Multiple
intelligence strategies for instruction should focus on the strengths of each individual child’s
learning process. Sweet (1998) states, “allowing students to use their knowledge about how they
learn best can increase their enthusiasm, raise their achievement levels, and foster growth in their
other intelligences” (p. 50). When a teacher’s focus is centered on what the students need to
succeed, learning will be optimized for the whole class (Nolen, 2003).
Hopper and Hurray (2000) believe, “One of the key strengths of using multiple
intelligences in education is the emphasis it places on the individual” (p. 28). Every child can
succeed in the presence of multiple intelligences. The multiple intelligence theory can promise
that the unique profiles of each student will be recognized, supported, and developed (Shearer,
Teachers and Multiple Intelligences
Lash (2004) states, “In order to assist our children in getting the most from their learning
experiences, we first must identify the areas of intelligence in which each child excels” (p. 14).
As educators observe the students in their learning environment, they need to ask themselves if
they see their students demonstrating specific intelligences in the classroom. Instead of
organizing the curriculum around the multiple intelligences, teachers need to organize their
instruction around their specific students (Hatch, 1997). No one set of multiple intelligence
strategies will work best for every student in the class because all students have different
strengths and weaknesses in the eight intelligences (Stanford, 2003). Even if students display
similar strengths in a particular intelligence, they may not reach success in the same way (Hatch,
1997). Teachers may have to adjust the instructional strategies they use throughout the day to
fully incorporate a multiple intelligence perspective and meet the needs of each individual
student (Nolen, 2003). Along with adjusting instructional strategies, Stanford believes that
“instructors should shift their intelligence emphasis from presentation to presentation, so there
will be time during a day when a student’s most highly developed intelligence is actively
involved in learning” (p. 82).
Teachers should not only provide opportunities for each child to learn among his/her
multiple intelligence strengths, but also help students see their fullest potential in using different
intelligences or a combination of intelligences (Sweet, 1998). Some students may not know what
strategies work best for them. Teachers can ask students how they enjoy learning, or give them a
chance to experiment with the variety of intelligences. By pursuing different activities and
challenging students to use different intelligences, the students will gain confidence and develop
mastery in intelligences they’ve never explored (Hatch, 1997). Educators should constantly teach
and model methods that allow students to capitalize on their dominant intelligence areas, while
strengthening the weaker areas as well (Lash, 2004). Not all students will improve greatly in all
areas of intelligence, but over time, students can better understand how they learn with guidance
from the teacher (Checkley, 1997).
Multiple Intelligence and Spelling
Spelling instruction is typically taught and reinforced using the intrapersonal, linguistic,
and logical-mathematical intelligences (Nicholson-Nelson, 1998). Some activities that focus on
these three intelligences are: word sorts, writing words in sentences, word games (i.e. hangman
or word searches), memorization of words, looking words up in the dictionary, writing words
numerous times, and putting words in alphabetical order. These activities are usually completed
individually (i.e. intrapersonal intelligence) either during class or for homework. Students who
have strength in these multiple intelligence areas are able to succeed without much difficulty,
while other students need to draw on their own strengths to master spelling (Nicholson-Nelson).
To reach all students in the area of spelling, educators should incorporate a range of activities in
all the multiple intelligence areas.
Armstrong (2003) suggests there are a number of activities that actively use
manipulatives or creative body movements in remembering specific word orders or consonantvowel patterns. These activities mainly focus on the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. Some of
these activities include: (a) spelling a word out loud while bouncing a ball or jumping rope, (b)
spelling a word out loud while standing up whenever a consonant appears, and sitting down
whenever a vowel appears, (c) spelling a word using a series of pantomimed gestures
representing the letters, (d) spelling a word using alphabet blocks or plastic materials, (e) spelling
a word using blue chips for vowels and red chips for consonants, and (f) write a word very large
on the floor using tape and allow students to read the word with their feet. Many students find
strength in these activities because they are actively involved in spelling the words (Armstrong).
According to Armstrong (2003) learning the visual patterns in words is important for
spelling success as well. Tactile methods have been used for many years to combine the two
senses of visually seeing a word and touching the word simultaneously. Some tactile activities
include: (a) tracing words on textural material (sandpaper, silk), (b) making words out of pipe
cleaners, twine, string, or chains (students can paste permanently or reshape into new words), (c)
write words in finger paint, pudding, whipped cream, or other messy medium, (d) manipulating
block letter shapes, (e) writing words in dirt, sand, or impressionable material, and (f) building
words with clay or play dough (Armstrong). Armstrong states, “There really is no end to
developing ways for the visual shapes of words to be tied to their physical ‘feel’” (p. 29).
Armstrong (2003) believes students may learn how to spell words using a visual
approach without having to touch or feel the word at the same time. Armstrong indicates, “the
reading process begins when the eye sends information about the visual forms of the markings
on the page to the cortex in the brain” (p. 41). Some words make it easy for students to recognize
their shape. The word monkey has a tail (i.e. “y”) at the end, and the word look has two eyes (i.e.
“oo”) in the middle looking at the reader. On the other hand though, many children can naturally
associate pictures with words they read even if they are not drawn on the paper. For example, if a
child reads the word car, he/she may picture in his/her mind the car his/her mom or dad drives at
home. Activities involving the visual-spatial intelligence are especially helpful for beginning
readers. According to Armstrong, some of these activities include: (a) turning letters and words
into pictures (i.e. an “S” can be a snake) to remember some aspect of its meaning, (b) use a
Words in Color approach (each phoneme in the English language is given a particular color), (c)
use a few favorite colors to highlight or trace over words a few times, (d) use colored
backgrounds when writing words on paper, (e) create a doodle diary with pictures or images for
each spelling word, and (f) integrate writing with art where students can create word-image
projects (i.e. letter sponges used to stamp the word on paper). Visual images allow students to
remember words without having to strictly memorize.
Music is a fun and beneficial way for students to learn sounds and words. Armstrong
(2003) argues that “we get so focused on teaching students the meaning and spelling of words
that we don’t take time to help students sit back and just savor the delicious flavors of the sounds
of words” (p. 60). Student will begin to show interest in letter sounds and the flow of words
when teachers approach words with rhythm and melody. A few activities that can assist teachers
with spelling include: (a) teach spelling words to the sound of music (i.e. any 7-letter words go
along with the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, any 6-letter word goes with “Happy
Birthday”), (b) spell words rhythmically to background music or to percussion instrument sounds
created by the class, (c) use tongue twisters, poems, or chants to reinforce phonemes, (d) create a
song or rap from the week’s spelling list, and (e) clap or tap out rhythms of each spelling word
(Armstrong). Armstrong states, “Studies suggest that words and music do have important
connections in the brain that can facilitate the processing of language and literacy activities” (p.
Armstrong (2003) argues that although words don’t tweet like birds or blow like the wind
outdoors, words have a relationship with nature. When students begin to acquire literacy skills,
and start to learn new spelling words, they relate to the natural world around them. For example,
phonemes can be introduced and compared to sounds made in nature (i.e. Are there any creatures
in nature that make this sound? An owl says Hoooo! Can you think of an animal that has a name
starting with the “Ba” sound?). There are many words (i.e. usually onomatopoetic: buzz, splash)
that can be associated with nature as well. (Where would you hear a splash?). Some spelling
activities that put emphasis on nature include: (a) walking outside the school building to create
words or sounds found in nature, (b) discussing word “roots” (i.e. ambu can be found in
ambulance or ambulatory), (c) observing nature to find things that form the letters of the week’s
spelling words and draw them on paper (i.e. tree branches, clouds, playground equipment), (d)
using natural things to create spelling words (i.e. sticks, leaves, rocks), and (e) writing a nature
haiku using the week’s spelling words (Armstrong, 2003). Students will be able to generate a
wide variety of associations with nature (i.e. animals or organisms, plants, and nonliving things),
which will help them in remembering their spelling words.
Although many traditional spelling activities are completed individually, there’s much to
be learned from peers during social interaction. Armstrong (2003) believes, “Research suggests
that children are more likely to develop literacy skills through close friendships than through
distant relationships” (p. 98). Some ways to make spelling a social event include: (a) give each
student a letter from a spelling word (mix them up) and have the class arrange themselves in the
correct order to make the spelling words, (b) form letters of the alphabet with groups of students
(i.e. three children lie on the ground to make an “A”), (c) students become experts on one or two
spelling words, and then assemble groups with experts in all words. The experts will describe
and teach ways in which they remember the spelling word/s to their group members, (d) create
pen pals within the class, so the students have to write a letter to them using the spelling words,
and (e) give each student a phoneme, then signal the students to walk around the room and find
all the other students that form a spelling word. Students will master their spelling words if they
incorporate them into their social world (Armstrong, 2003).
The teaching methods and ways of assessing students’ ability to spell have not drastically
improved over the past several years. The immense amount of research on spelling supports that
there is still no best way to teach spelling in the classroom. Teachers continue to support their
beliefs on the most efficient practices, although the various spelling activities and instructional
approaches used among many of these teachers are proven to be unsuccessful and ineffective
toward student achievement. Teachers should consider doing activities in the classroom that
focus on the different intelligences and strengths of the individual students, and not rely entirely
on the traditional approaches previously stated in the chapter (i.e. memorization, writing words
numerous times, solving word puzzles, and putting words in alphabetical order). Some students
may be successful at these types of activities, but many children struggle with the end of the
week assessments on a regular basis. By giving students the opportunity to do activities using the
multiple intelligences, they can find strategies and activities that are beneficial to them as
learners. It is necessary for all teachers to understand the importance of spelling, and its
instruction in the classroom, because it is one of the many developmental processes every child
goes through. Without engaging spelling instruction, students will have a hard time succeeding
with spelling as they progress through the upper grades.
This study was designed to determine whether spelling activities incorporating the
multiple intelligences positively impacted second grade spelling test scores. Research indicated
that using multiple intelligences in the classroom gave students an opportunity to explore and
understand their own learning processes (Hopper & Hurry, 2000). Understanding the ways in
which learning occurs can allow students to practice and study their spelling words in a variety
of ways. Most teachers incorporate activities that only focus on the intrapersonal, linguistic, and
logical mathematical intelligence (Nicholson-Nelson, 1998). Every student in the classroom
shouldn’t be expected to succeed at memorizing a list of words, playing word games, and
completing drills each week though because these activities don’t help most students understand
how words are spelled (Bloodgood, 1991). Many students have strengths in other areas of
learning, which can be more closely examined during activities that focus on the different
Using a multiple intelligences approach to teach spelling in the classroom should provide
teachers with the opportunity to implement a wide range of activities. Nolen (2003) states, “all of
the intelligences are a better way for teachers to accommodate different learning styles in the
classroom” (p. 119). The spelling activities using the multiple intelligences included in this
research study not only benefit the education of the students, but they may have been more
enjoyable than the traditional approach to weekly spelling instruction. Scott (2000) believes that
for many students and language teachers, “spelling is a ‘necessary’ but altogether disliked
component of the school curriculum” (p. 67). The ability to spell is a much sought after, but
frequently unattained outcome of instruction (Larson, Hammill, & Moats, 1999), which may be
why students and teachers have a lack of enthusiasm toward this language arts component
(Carreker, 2005). Because of the variety and diverse range of activities, the three-week
instruction plan for the research study encouraged students to find the activities that worked best
for them, and worked toward positively impacting their spelling test scores.
Research Design
This research study was set up as a three-group comparative design. The purpose of this
design was to be able to compare the effectiveness of the multiple intelligence spelling activities
in three second grade classrooms. Each of the three classes rotated being the control group,
which allowed the data from the classrooms with additional activities to be compared with the
data from the classroom with only traditional activities.
The three second-grade classrooms were selected for this study according to the spelling
instruction in the classroom. The teachers in these classrooms had a traditional view of teaching
spelling. A teacher with a traditional approach may utilize a spelling textbook or published
spelling series for instruction, and use traditional strategies for practice throughout the course of
the week. Traditional activities may include writing the spelling words in sentences, writing the
spelling words numerous times, putting spelling words in alphabetical order, playing word
games, or memorizing the entire spelling list (Schlagal, 2003).
The particular school chosen for this research study used the spelling series Spell ItWrite. A typical week of spelling usually consisted of (a) giving the new list of words Monday
and doing one or more of the following: discussing patterns, writing words out one time each,
and completing a word sort, (b) doing an activity on Tuesday that required the students to
unscramble the spelling words or solve a puzzle, (c) giving the students a homework assignment
Wednesday night that involved a game activity or completing a writing activity in class (i.e.
writing the words in alphabetical order), (d) giving the students a worksheet to complete on
Thursday that involved either proofreading, writing the missing word in a sentence, or writing
the spelling words using the “Write, Cover, Check” method, and (e) playing a game, such as
“Sparkle” on Friday before taking the unit test.
Second grade students were chosen for this study because it is a typical age in which
formal spelling is taught. At this age, the students are developmentally ready for the process of
spelling. Three different classrooms were selected to compare the quantitative data (i.e. spelling
test scores) each week. All three classrooms were chosen from one elementary school so the
demographic information and range of ability levels was consistent.
After examining writing samples from the second grade classrooms, these students
seemed to be in the beginning-middle of the last stage of spelling development (i.e. transitional
stage) (Carreker, 2005). The students were between the age of seven and eight, and were able to
demonstrate knowledge of patterns or the use of groups of letters to represent words. Most of the
students also used vowels in their writing. These students had knowledge of the concepts of print
(i.e. writing in a left to right progression, leaving spaces in between words) which was also very
There were 18 students in each of the three classrooms, all of whom were able to
participate in doing the spelling activities. In class A there were 7 females and 11 males; class B
had 8 females and 10 males, and there were 10 females and 8 males in class C. There were only
two children identified as minority, one in class A and one in class B. The rest of the students in
class A, B and C were Caucasian. Many of the students came from low–middle class families,
although a few of the students came from middle-high class backgrounds. The elementary school
where these students attended was in a rural area.
For this research study, five of the eight multiple intelligences were chosen to give
second grade students various opportunities to be successful on their spelling tests. The five
intelligences chosen were: bodily kinesthetic (including tactile activities), musical, naturalist,
visual-spatial, and interpersonal. By focusing and integrating different spelling activities around
these five intelligences, the second grade students learned in a variety ways (Silver, Strong, &
Perini, 1997).
There were many materials necessary for this study to implement the different activities
using the multiple intelligences. Some of the materials were brought in, while others were
already in the second grade classrooms. For the tactile activities, wikki sticks, sandpaper, felt,
and play dough were necessary to complete the planned activities. Musical instruments,
background music, rhymes, and songs were used for the musical activities. Kinesthetic activities
needed letter mats, jump ropes, and a rubber ball to bounce. The naturalist activities needed
materials found in nature, such as sticks, rocks, leaves, and sand. The materials required for
visual/spatial activities were markers, crayons, alphabet stamps, and alphabet stencils.
The last instrument or material necessary for this research study was the actual spelling
assessment given at the end of each week. This assessment was created and given by the
classroom teachers, which consisted of spelling each word one time (See Appendix B for the list
of spelling words for Class A; see Appendix C for the list of spelling words for Class B, and see
Appendix D for the list of spelling words for Class C). The end-of-the-week assessments were
analyzed to measure differences among the three classes.
A three-week calendar of activities was designed to focus on five of the eight multiple
intelligences during spelling instruction (see Appendix E). The five intelligences chosen for
further application were musical, kinesthetic, tactile (included in the kinesthetic intelligence),
visual-spatial, naturalist, and interpersonal. The three multiple intelligences that were not
implemented into the three-week study were intrapersonal, linguistic, and logical-mathematical
because they are typically used throughout the week for traditional spelling instruction
(Nicholson-Nelson, 1998). Teachers usually apply linguistic and logical techniques, tools, or
strategies when teaching spelling in the classroom (Stanford, 2003). This specific research
though intended to study the significance of activities uncommonly used in the traditional
The first week of this research study focused on the tactile intelligence in one classroom
and the musical intelligence in another. The classroom with tactile activities wrote their words in
shaving cream on Monday, used wikki (wax) sticks to spell words on a flat surface on Tuesday,
traced words written on sandpaper and felt to spell their words on Wednesday, and made the
spelling words out of play dough on Thursday. The classroom with musical activities, on the
other hand, clapped and tapped out the letters as words were spelled on Monday, used
instruments to play the rhythm of the words spelled aloud on Tuesday, sang songs that went with
the length of their words (i.e. 3 letter words go with the song “3 Blind Mice”) on Wednesday,
and recited songs using the weekly spelling words on Thursday (i.e. “Five Little Letters Jumping
on the Bed”) (see Appendix E for the calendar).
The second week of spelling activities focused on the bodily kinesthetic and naturalist
intelligence. The classroom with bodily kinesthetic activities spelled their words out loud (sitting
when a vowel was said and standing when a consonant was said) on Tuesday, leaped to and from
letter mats on the ground to spell their words on Wednesday, and spelled each word out loud
while jumping rope or bouncing a ball on Thursday. The classroom with naturalist activities
drew words in a tray of sand on Tuesday, found things outside that formed the letters of the
words (i.e. tree branches, playground equipment, clouds) on Wednesday, and used things in the
outside environment to spell words (i.e. sticks, leaves, or rocks) on Thursday (see Appendix E
for the calendar).
Lastly, the third week of spelling activities highlighted the visual-spatial and
interpersonal intelligences. The classroom with visual-spatial activities decorated their spelling
words and the shapes they made on Monday, traced over their spelling words using three favorite
colors of the rainbow on Tuesday, used words to form word snakes on Wednesday, and used
alphabet stamps and alphabet stencils to create the words on Thursday. The classroom with
interpersonal activities completed activities with other peers in the class. On Monday, the
students were given a letter card and they had to make the words with others in the class.
Tuesday, the students made body formations to spell the words. On Wednesday, the students
traced letters on a partner’s palm, while the partner had to guess the word with his/her eyes
closed. Finally, the students wrote a secret pen pal note to a peer in the class using the spelling
words (see Appendix E for the calendar).
This calendar of activities was implemented in only two of the three second-grade
classrooms each week. To compare among the three classes, there was one control classroom
that received only the traditional spelling instruction from the classroom teacher. The two
conditioned classrooms completed the calendar of activities, as well as received the traditional
spelling instruction from the classroom teacher. The classes rotated so there was a different
control classroom each week. No two classes had the same multiple intelligence activities in
order to compare the impact of each of the five intelligences (see Table 1 for schedule).
See Table 2 for a general schedule of spelling activities in the control classroom.
Table 1
Three week schedule of control and conditioned classrooms
Week #1
Traditional Instruction +
Tactile Activities
Week #2
Traditional Instruction
Week #3
Traditional Instruction +
Interpersonal Activities
Class B
Traditional Instruction +
Musical Activities
Traditional Instruction +
Naturalist Activities
Traditional Instruction
Class C
Traditional Instruction
Traditional Instruction +
Kinesthetic Activities
Traditional Instruction +
Visual-Spatial Activities
Class A
Table 2
General schedule of spelling activities in the control classroom
-list of words is
given to the
-patterns are
-words are written
one time each
-word sorts
-activity involving
unscrambling the
spelling words
-solve the mystery
puzzle activity
-writing activity
using the spelling
assignment given
(i.e. a game to
-complete various
-choose a word to
complete the
-write, cover, check
method used on dry
erase boards
-test is
(write each
word one
Data Collection
All three second grade classes took the spelling test at the end of the week given by the
classroom teacher, regardless if they were a control or conditioned classroom. The tests were
scored according to how the classroom teacher scores every other spelling test (i.e. number of
words spelled correctly). The test scores were collected from each classroom teacher on Friday
of each week.
Data Analysis
On Friday of each week, spelling tests were given to the students. The scores from these
spelling tests were collected from all three classrooms. The tests scores from each classroom
were analyzed each week. The scores represented the students’ overall ability to spell a specific
list of words. The first means of data analysis for each class was calculating the mean, median,
mode, and range among the test scores. The mean was the average score attained in each specific
classroom. The median was the score that fell exactly in the middle of the range of scores; the
mode was the score that was achieved most often among the students, and the range was the
difference between the lowest and highest score among the students in each class. After the
mean, median, mode, and range were calculated for each class, an analysis of variance was
conducted. This analysis of variance, or ANOVA, is a statistic that measures the significant
difference in scores among two or more groups. This statistic was used to determine whether
there was a significant difference among the test scores in the control and two conditioned
A similar procedure (finding the mean, median, and mode, along with analyzing the
variance) was completed three different times. The scores were analyzed and examined at the
end of each week to determine whether the activities using the multiple intelligences impacted
the spelling scores in any way.
This investigation focused on incorporating activities using the tactile, kinesthetic, visualspatial, naturalist, musical, and interpersonal intelligences into spelling instruction. Because
young students are in the middle of their spelling development, second grade students were
chosen for the study. In designing the study, three separate classrooms of second graders were
also chosen, so the data collected at the end of each week could be compared across all three
classes. Only two of the three classes received the additional spelling activities though, allowing
the test scores to be compared with a control class. The scores for each end-of-the-week
assessment were collected and analyzed from each of the three classrooms to determine whether
there was a statistical difference among spelling test scores.
The purpose of this study was to determine if spelling activities using the multiple
intelligences enhanced the spelling scores of second grade students. The data used in this study
was taken from the students’ weekly spelling tests. At the end of each week, the spelling scores
were collected from each of the three classrooms and analyzed to see if there was a significant
difference among the scores in the two classrooms with additional activities using the multiple
intelligences and the classroom that only received the traditional spelling instruction from the
classroom teacher. Three weeks of data were collected because the three classrooms rotated or
took turns being the control group, only receiving spelling instruction from the classroom
teacher. Each spelling test was out of 14 points total; the students received one point for every
word they spelled correctly.
Data Analysis
Mean, Median, Mode, Range
The results of the data collection were analyzed based on the mean, or average, score
within a class sample of 18 students. The median, mode, and range of weekly scores were also
determined to compare each individual classroom of students across the time frame of three
weeks. For classroom A (see Table 3), Week 1 consisted of tactile instruction. During Week 2,
classroom A had just the traditional instruction from the classroom teacher, and during Week 3,
classroom A had interpersonal instruction.
Classroom A had the highest mean score during week three, when the students were
completing interpersonal spelling activities. The lowest score in the class during that week was a
10/14. The second highest mean score was during the first week, when the students were doing
tactile activities. The lowest score achieved during week 2 was a 9/14. In both the first and third
Table 3
Class A Mean, Median, Mode, and Range of Weekly Scores
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
13, 14
Note: n=18
week of the study when the students were receiving spelling activities, the mode, or the score
most often achieved, was a 14/14. The second week of the research study, when the students
were only receiving the traditional instruction from the teacher, scored the lowest mean score.
Again, the lowest score for the second week of instruction was a 9/14. The additional multiple
intelligence activities seemed to make a difference in classroom A’s average score.
For classroom B (see Table 4), Week 1 consisted of musical instruction. During Week 2,
classroom B had naturalist instruction, and during Week 3, classroom B had just the traditional
instruction from the classroom teacher. The week of instruction that the students had the highest
mean score was during week 3. Unfortunately, this was the week that they did not receive any
additional multiple intelligence spelling activities. The lowest score was a 5/14. The students in
classroom B scored the second highest mean score during week 1, when they were receiving
musical activities. Again, the lowest achieved score was a 5/14. Lastly, naturalist instruction
during week 2 had the lowest mean score. The student who scored the 5/14 during week one and
three though received a 6/14 the second week. That particular student may have found a strength
in the naturalist activities. Regardless of the week or particular spelling instruction, classroom B
had the score of 14/14 on their spelling tests most frequently.
For classroom C (see Table 5), Week 1 consisted of just the traditional instruction from
the classroom teacher. During Week 2, classroom C had kinesthetic instruction, and during Week
3, classroom C had visual-spatial instruction. Classroom C had the highest mean score during
week 1. The students were only receiving instruction from the classroom teacher. The lowest
score during week 1 was a 9/14. The second highest mean score was received during week 3,
when the students were completing visual-spatial activities. The lowest score during that week
Table 4
Class B Mean, Median, Mode, and Range of Weekly Scores
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Note: n=18
Table 5
Class C Mean, Median, Mode, and Range of Weekly Scores
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
11, 12
Note: n=18
was a 5/14. Bodily-kinesthetic instruction during week 2, earned the lowest mean score during
the study. The lowest score received that week was a 7/14.
Overall, the highest mean score at the end of each week was achieved by class A. Class A
had the highest mean score during interpersonal instruction with a 13.44, which was very high
considering the total amount of points possible is 14. The next highest mean score for class A
was a 13 during the week of tactile activities. The mean score for class A during the week with
only traditional instruction from the classroom teacher was a 12.78 . The range of scores for each
week was also much smaller in classroom A compared to classroom B and C.
Analyses of Variance
To determine the level of significance among the three classrooms’ spelling test scores,
an analysis of variance was conducted at the end of each week. This analysis compared the mean
scores from each class. The data were tested at the .05 level of significance. The first week of
data were comparing the control classroom to the classroom with tactile activities and the
classroom with additional musical activities (see Table 6). The second week of the research
study was comparing the control classroom to naturalist activities and bodily-kinesthetic
activities (see Table 7). Finally, the last week of the study was comparing the test results from
the control classroom with the classrooms having interpersonal activities and visual-spatial
activities (see Table 8).
For a statistically significant difference during the three weeks of the study, the p-value
would need to be less than .05. The p-value for the first week was 0.92, so there was not a
significant difference among the three classes’ mean scores. By looking at the mean scores in all
three of the classrooms during week one 13, 12.78 and 12.83, they were not very different. There
was only a .22 difference among the mean scores.
Table 6
Analysis of Variance Results for Week 1
*Significance tested at the .05 level
Table 7
Analysis of Variance Results for Week 2
*Significance tested at the .05 level
Table 8
Analysis of Variance Results for Week 3
*Significance tested at the .05 level
The mean scores for week 2 were also fairly similar: 12.78, 12.22, and 11.39. They were
a little more spread apart, with a difference of 1.39, but not enough to be statistically significant
among the classes. The p-value for week 2 was not less than .05.
Similar to week 1 and 2, the mean scores for week three were not significantly different.
The mean scores were 13.44, 12.89, and 12.56, with a difference of .88. The p-value of 0.41
indicates that there was no significance among the three classes.
Discussion of Results
The specific question that was investigated during this study was: “How are second grade
spelling scores impacted when spelling instruction is enhanced using different multiple
intelligence activities?” Based on the statistical results, the spelling scores of second grade
students were not significantly impacted, positively or negatively, after using different multiple
intelligence activities.
The mean scores for each classroom did not significantly differ among the other
classrooms during the three-week study. Although there was not a significant difference among
the overall classroom mean scores, the multiple intelligence spelling activities may have
impacted some of the individual students’ scores. There were eight students in Class A (i.e.
students 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 15, and 18) who scored between one and four points lower during the
second week of the study when they were only receiving the traditional instruction from the
classroom teacher, compared to the first week when they were doing tactile activities (see
Appendix F). Out of those eight students, six of the students’ scores went back up the third week
when receiving interpersonal activities (i.e. students 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, and 15). This was the
classroom that had the most student fluctuation according to when they received multiple
intelligence activities. There was only one student (i.e. student 10) in classroom B who had data
to show that the activities may have impacted his/her scores (see Appendix G). Classroom C did
not have any student data to show individual impact of having additional spelling activities (See
Appendix H).
The data collected from three second-grade classrooms were analyzed at the end of each
week. The mean, median, mode, and range were calculated from the spelling test scores in each
classroom and used to compare the achievement of the three different classes. An Analysis of
Variance was also conducted to compare the level of significance among the mean scores in each
The data did not confirm that using multiple intelligence spelling activities, in addition to
the spelling instruction of the classroom teacher, enhanced the spelling scores of second grade
students. There was no significant difference among the three classrooms each week, regardless
of whether or not the classrooms were receiving multiple intelligence spelling activities. The
results lead to a discussion on the importance of these findings, conclusions to be drawn, and the
possibility of future studies.
Spelling is a very important task for children to learn during the early years of school. If
they aren’t given strategies or ways in which to learn how to spell, they will not grow into
successful spellers as they progress through many mores years of education. This research study
was designed to determine “How are second grade spelling scores impacted when spelling
instruction is enhanced using different multiple intelligence activities?” In this chapter, a
summary of the study, conclusions based on the data, and future recommendations for research
will be discussed.
Summary of the Findings
Most teachers in the early childhood classroom address spelling using a variety of
teaching strategies or activities. These activities may include workbook drills, writing tasks,
figuring out word puzzles, memorizing words, sorting words, or putting words in alphabetical
order. Many students are successful when completing these activities and using these strategies
to study for the end-of-the-week tests. On the other hand though, some students have a hard time
only focusing on activities that rely on a logical, linguistic, or intrapersonal intelligence. Students
who have a strength in these traditional activities usually do well on the tests, while some
students struggle week after week.
There has not been a noticeable change in the teaching methods used for spelling
instruction among teachers in the past several years. If students are struggling week after week
though, a more efficient practice for spelling instruction needs to be implemented because
teachers need to give all students in the classroom the opportunity to be successful. Spelling is an
important developmental process for young children and, for students to be successful, daily
instruction needs to be effective.
A great way to involve all children in learning spelling is through activities using the
multiple intelligences. Since the logical, linguistic, and intrapersonal intelligences are commonly
used for activities among teachers, the other forms of intelligence need to be presented to the
students as well. Each and every student has a profile of strengths and weaknesses when it comes
to multiple intelligences. Allowing students to engage in activities in all areas of intellectual
ability, will give them various ways to practice and study words each week. The students can
also focus on their strengths.
This study was designed to determine whether spelling activities using the multiple
intelligences uncommonly used in the classroom enhanced or positively impacted the spelling
test scores of second grade students. Three second grade classrooms were chosen for this study
based on the spelling instruction given by the classroom teacher. The study was set up as a threegroup comparative so the class averages could be compared and analyzed once a week. The
spelling test scores were collected at the end of each week and analyzed. The mean, median,
mode, and range were calculated each week, along with calculating an Analysis of Variance for
the three classes.
After collecting data and analyzing the spelling test scores for each class, over the course
of three weeks, there was not a significant difference in class averages among the control and
conditioned classrooms. However, some of the individual scores from the students indicate that
the multiple intelligence activities may have had an impact on their ability to spell their words.
The major conclusion drawn from the results of the study is that the multiple intelligence
activities implemented in three second-grade classrooms, along with the traditional instruction
from the classroom teacher, did not have a statistically significant impact on the spelling scores
of the second grade students. A significant difference among the various treatment conditions
was not obtained; therefore, one may question its effectiveness in the classroom. Unfortunately,
many teachers will keep relying on textbooks and spelling series because they are commonly
used and supported by so many people. Much like the reformist view, this study gave students
multiple strategies or ways to help them become successful spellers. Bloodgood (1991) says,
“The obstensibly ‘tried and true’ approach to spelling clearly isn’t working, but there are
currently no viable alternatives” (p. 203). This investigation attempted to find a viable
supplement to include along with the traditional spelling instruction.
Because there was no significant difference in scores to support the use of multiple
intelligence activities in spelling instruction, it can not be concluded that using the multiple
intelligences to enhance spelling instruction is better than the traditional approach implemented
by many classroom teachers. The multiple intelligence spelling activities were given to the
students in addition to the traditional strategies of the classroom teachers, so it is hard to
conclude which activities may have had an impact on the students.
Even though there was not statistical significance of test scores during this research
study, the multiple intelligence activities implemented over the three week period were
practically important and significant to many students. Some individual students had higher
success during the weeks they were completing the multiple intelligence activities compared to
when they were not receiving additional instruction.
All students have a different style or way of learning and the activities conducted in this
study gave the second grade students multiple ways to study their words. The traditional way to
teach spelling in the classroom, using linguistic, logical-mathematical, and intrapersonal
techniques may not give every individual student the opportunity to succeed in spelling. The
second grade students can take the activities presented to them in this study and use or build on
them again for future spelling tests.
Another conclusion that can be drawn is that while there was no statistical significance in
students’ spelling scores, there was no decline either. Therefore, teaches who wish to use
alternative forms of supplemental spelling instruction may include activities that focus on
multiple intelligences, knowing that students did not do any worse on the spelling tests after they
had been exposed to multiple intelligence activities.
Recommendations for Further Study
Based upon the results of this study, it is recommended that further research be conducted
to consider whether this type of supplemental spelling instruction can be successful for student
achievement. Time played a huge factor in the delimitations of this study. The second grade
students only had the opportunity to do spelling activities in two different areas of intelligence.
In the future, the study should be conducted over a longer period of time to provide the students
with the opportunity to do activities in all of the multiple intelligences uncommonly used for
spelling instruction (i.e. tactile, musical, naturalist, kinesthetic, interpersonal, and visual-spatial).
Along with the overall length of the study, the duration of activities should be lengthened as
well. The spelling activities were only 15 minutes long, which may not have given all of the
students enough time to engage in and focus on the specific task at hand.
In addition to allowing more time to utilize the different multiple intelligence activities,
the classroom teachers and/or researcher should begin to recognize the profiles of the students’
abilities and strengths in the multiple intelligence areas, as stated in chapter two. The initial
participation in these multiple intelligence activities is to determine what is helpful in assisting
the students to reach success. After the students find areas of strength, then they should draw
upon those strengths and use them to study and practice spelling. What works for many students
may not work for the entire class. Nicholson-Nelson (1998) states that students who have
strength in the linguistic, logical-mathematical, and intrapersonal areas (i.e. memorization, word
sorts, and working independently) are able to succeed without much difficulty, while other
students need to draw upon their own strengths (i.e. other areas or combined areas of
intelligence) to master spelling. When a teacher’s focus is centered on what the students need to
succeed, learning will be optimized for the whole class (Nolen, 2003). Chapter two also
discussed that students who use their knowledge about how they learn best can increase their
enthusiasm, raise their achievement levels, and grow in the other areas of intelligence (Sweet,
1998). While this research did not confirm the best way to teach spelling in the classroom, there
is enough evidence to show that this type of supplemental spelling instruction could possibly
foster growth in many students’ spelling abilities if used appropriately.
The teachers involved in this study saw value in the activities implemented with the
students. They were supportive and flexible to try something new. One teacher has even tried
some of the activities in teaching math. The students found enjoyment out of new and different
engaging activities. It is recommended to teachers, principals, and educators to find new ways to
teach strategies and complete activities, such as the multiple intelligences, in the classroom. It
may give the students more opportunities to learn and grow as a student. New effective
approaches to spelling instruction will not be supported until teachers take action, and see how
the students in their classrooms learn best.
It is important to note that these types of spelling activities may work more successfully
in some classrooms than others. The teacher in class A may want to keep exploring the use of
multiple intelligence activities because the class was achieving the highest overall mean score
each week. This result may have been because they were two units ahead in the spelling series,
or that tactile and interpersonal activities are most beneficial for spelling success. Researchers
may want to continue this study to see if these two areas of intelligence have the greatest effect
on second grade students.
Implementing this calendar of various activities, using five different multiple
intelligences, gave the second grade students many opportunities to practice and study their
spelling words. The teachers were also able to observe the students developing and becoming
aware of ways to be successful in spelling. Stanford (2003) says that “multiple intelligences open
the door to a wide variety of teaching strategies that can easily be implemented in the classroom”
(p. 82). The students didn’t have to solely rely on using their intrapersonal, linguistic, or logicalmathematical intelligences, and could find an intelligence that worked best for them.
Although this investigation did not yield statistically significant results for the treatment
conditions in impacting the spelling test scores for second grade students, the students were
engaged and motivated for the multiple intelligence spelling activities. There were students
whose test scores indicated that the multiple intelligence activities could have helped their ability
to spell words each week. It is hopeful that researchers will continually contribute to the study of
spelling instruction because it is such an important aspect of young children’s achievement in
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Appendix A
Attendance (all three classes have 18 students total)
Date of Activity
Monday January 30
Tuesday February 1
Wednesday February 2
Thursday February 3
Friday February 4
Monday February 6 (No School)
Tuesday February 7
Wednesday February 8
Thursday February 9
Friday February 10
Monday February 13
Tuesday February 14
Wednesday February 15
Thursday February 16
Friday February 17
Class A
Class B
Class C
Lists of Spelling Words for Class A
Appendix B
Lists of Spelling Words for Class A
Week 1
Unit 21
Week 2
Unit 22
Week 3
Unit 23
Lists of Spelling Words for Class B
Appendix C
Lists of Spelling Words for Class B
Week 1
Unit 19
Week 2
Unit 20
Week 3
Unit 21
Lists of Spelling Words for Class C
Appendix D
Lists of Spelling Words for Class C
Week 1
Unit 19
Week 2
Unit 20
Week 3
Unit 21
Calendar of Multiple Intelligence Activities
Appendix E
Calendar of Multiple Intelligence Activities
Week 1
Class A
January 30February 3
Week 1
Class B
January 30February 3
Week 2
Day 1
Make words
in Shaving
Day 2
Use wikki
sticks to spell
words on a flat
Day 3
Trace words
written on
sandpaper and
Day 4
Make words in
play dough
Day 5
Spelling Test
Clap and tap
out the letters
as the words
are spelled
instruments to
play the
rhythm of
words spelled
Sing silly songs
using the
spelling words
while listening
to background
Spelling Test
No School!
Spell a word
out loud: sit
when a vowel
is said, stand
when a
consonant is
Draw words in
a tray of sand
Sing short
songs that go
with the length
of the words
(i.e. 5 letter
words sung to
Row Row Row
Your Boat)
Leap to and
from different
letter mats on
the ground to
spell a word
Spell out words
while jumping
rope or bouncing
a ball
Spelling Test
Find things
outside that
form letters of
the words and
draw them (i.e.
tree branches,
Use the
spelling words
to form word
Use things from
the outside
environment to
make the words
(i.e. leaves,
sticks, rocks)
Spelling Test
Use alphabet
stamps and
stencils to form
the words on
Write a note or
letter to a secret
pen pal in the
class using the
spelling words
Spelling Test
Class C
February 6February 10
Week 2
No School!
Class B
February 6February 10
Week 3
Class C
February13February 17
spelling words
and the shapes
they make
Give each
student a letter
Class A
card and have
them create
February13- the spelling
February 17
words with
their peers
Trace over
spelling words
using three
favorite colors
of the rainbow
Get into
groups and
make body
formations to
spell out the
Trace the
letters of the
spelling words
on a partner’s
palm while the
partner guesses
the word
Spelling Test
Class A Spelling Scores
Appendix F
Class A Spelling Scores
February 3
February 10
(No Additional
February 17
Class B Spelling Scores
Appendix G
Class B Spelling Scores
February 3
February 10
February 17
(No Additional
Class C Spelling Scores
Appendix H
Class C Spelling Scores
February 3
(No Additional
February 10
February 17