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A Deck of Spelling Rules


Today's Snack: Have a double-decker sandwich! Use three pieces of bread, not two. Lay one piece of bread on the cutting board or plate. Top with one piece of meat or cheese, and a blob of mayo or mustard. Then put a piece of bread on top of that. THEN place another piece of meat and cheese, and some spread if you wish. Top it all off with a third piece of bread. That's a double-decker! Enjoy with a single glass of milk.





Print out this Treat on cardstock | scissors or paper-cutter

Hole-puncher | circular binder clip


Print out a copy of these spelling rules onto cardstock paper. Each one lists a spelling rule, and then uses an example in green ink.


You can cut them out uniformly using a paper-cutter, or let the students cut them out into card form. Try to make the cards the same size so that they will stack up nicely in a deck.


With a hole-puncher, punch out a hole in the upper left-hand corner of each card in your new spelling rules deck.


Then string the deck onto a circular binder clip.


Voila! Now you have an easy-to-carry-around deck of spelling rules and you can study the rules of spelling in your spare time. You WILL, won't you?





i before e

except after c

(except in words

where it sounds like "a,"

like neighbor and weigh)





Silent final e

makes the vowel

say its name

rate (rat), hope (hop)




Silent final e

changes the

c or g sound

to s or j

chance, charge




Silent final e

is dropped when you

add a suffix that

starts with a vowel

nerve - nervous

ease - easy

serve - service




Double the

final consonant

in a word with

one syllable

will, off, glass, roll, egg




Vowels i and o

can say their long sounds

only if followed

by two consonants

find, old




The sound al

written alone is all,

but with another syllable

is written al

also, almost




Till and full

added to one or more syllables

are written til and ful

until, beautiful




j can be written dge

only after

a vowel with

its short sound

badge, ledge,

bridge, lodge, budge




Some words

have a no job e --

the e doesn't

change the


house, come, promise




The sound er

can be spelled

five ways

and has to be


her, first, nurse, work, early






the long a


veil, rein, vein,

their (refers to they;

hear the "a" sound?)




Every syllable

in English

needs a vowel,

so we put in

a silent e


lit tle, mus cle,

twin kle




English words

don't end in i

so we use y


(ski isn't an

English word)




A plural of

a word that ends in y

takes off the y

and adds ies

cry - cries

baby -- babies




To change

a word that ends in y

to another form of that word,

change the y to an i

and use an ending of

es, ed, er or est

dry to dries,

dried, drier, driest




Double the consonant

before the ing suffix

if the vowel sound

in the first syllable


skip ping, hop ping,

mud dy




Double the consonant

before a suffix

that begins with a vowel

if the accent is on

the last syllable

oc cur - occurrence

ex cel - excellence

for got -- forgotten




Keep the last consonant

single if the

accent is on

the first syllable,

and you're adding a suffix

label - labeling




Double the

last consonant

if the accent is on

the second syllable

before the suffix

repel - repellent




q always goes with a u

when the sound is kw

quick, queen




c sounds like an s

when it is followed by

e, i or y

cent, city




If c is followed by

some other letter,

or is at the end of a word,

it sounds like a k

cat, music




g can sound like j

only if it is followed by

e, i or y

but e, i or y don't always

make g sound like a j

gel, gist, gym

but get, gift, girl




g can only

sound like a j

after e, i or y

gel, gin, gyroscope,

pigeon, religious, energy




vowels a, e, o and u

usually have

their long sound

at the end

of a syllable

na vy, me, si lent, mu sic




ti, si and ci

in the middle

of a word

are pronounced sh

nation, tension, social




In English,

we don't end words

with u, v or q

Exception: impromptu

Foreign words:

Zulu, Aviv, Iraq




By Susan Darst Williams Writing 2010


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