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Teaching and Learning About Spelling


Standard Resource

Years: 3-4, 5-6, K-2

25 Pages

Product Code: TEAC1732

Resource Type: Professional Readings

About this teaching resource

Wondering how to teach spelling within the context of writing, focusing on the major spelling strategies, including the automatic writing of the most used words?

It’s easy to get started with Diane Snowball's comprehensive article Teaching and Learning About Spelling, covering the critical aspects of what students need to be taught, and what to learn to be effective spellers and writers.

The major purpose for students to learn how to spell words the conventional way is for others to be able to read their writing.
This means that classrooms need to provide students with many opportunities to:

  • Write all kinds of texts for a range of audiences
  • Have many opportunities to read each other’s writing and
  • Provide helpful feedback for the writer.

Within this context, the teaching of spelling becomes relevant, purposeful and authentic.

Teaching and Learning About Spelling includes:

  • Context for teaching spelling
  • The spelling curriculum and students’ understanding about spelling
  • Strategies used for spelling
  • Teaching and learning about spelling strategies through investigations
  • Learning high-frequency words for writing and reading
  • Learning personal new words for writing
  • Learning about words
  • Learning about spelling patterns
  • Learning about spelling generalisations
  • Other investigations


Want to count your Professional Reading towards professional learning hours? We know Di’s professional readings are actionable, so we’ve also included a Reflections and Actions prompt sheet.

  • Diane Snowball is a Victorian educator with teaching experience that has ranged from prep through university levels over the past 50 years. Her experience includes both teaching and administrative roles in secondary and primary schools, but the majority of her time has been devoted to the provision of professional learning for teachers and those involved in all levels of school leadership, with a focus on improving students’ literacy.

Diane is a past president of the Australian Literacy Educators Association and has presented at many conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Asia and the USA. She has written several books and articles about literacy teaching and has produced many videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs demonstrating the most effective teaching practices. In 1992 Diane was invited to provide professional learning for teachers and administrators at schools across New York City and in several other parts of the US, which she did for 16 years.
Diane’s main focus these days is on ways to provide the most effective professional development for Victorian educators so that all students have the best opportunities for achieving their potential and has been assisting the Western Metropolitan Region schools to meet this goal.
Diane was a presenter on ABC TV's 'Revolution School' in 2016, and she is a key advisor to schools/governments in literacy education. See her extensive range of literacy education information on the Victorian Department for Education and Training's website at:


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