The University of Iowa

Why Teach Spelling?


This resource is a compilation of three documents that support the teaching of spelling in today's schools: a discussion of "Why Spelling Instruction Matters", a checklist for evaluating a spelling program, and tables of Common Core State Standards that are linked to spelling instruction. "Why Spelling Instruction Matters" explains the importance of spelling to students' reading abilities, describes models of spelling development, and explains common approaches to spelling instruction. It offers supporting figures and diagrams as well as appendices with additional information and lists of resources helpful to practitioners. Using the information from "Why Spelling Instruction Matters", the Center on Instruction created two companion documents as tools for administrators and teachers. The items in "A Checklist for Evaluating a Spelling Program" are based on research outlined in the main document and offer a quick reference to the key elements for determining students' spelling abilities and teaching basic and more complex skills. The second companion tool, "Tables of Common Core State Standards Linked to Spelling", connects the information in Why Spelling Instruction Matters to grade-level expectations. The document also includes guidance about how to read and use the information in the tables. Each document contains figures, footnotes and references.


Reed, D. K. (2012). Why teach spelling? Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation, Center on Instruction.

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