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Extension List Word activities for your spelling stars

Do you have students in your class who excel at spelling? You’ve no doubt discovered the Extension List Words available for every Sound Waves unit, but how many different ways do you use them? Here are a few ideas to help your top students take their spelling skills to the next level.

Segment Extension List Words

To effectively segment Extension List Words, students need to make complex grapheme choices. This challenging task will develop their spelling ability as they segment new and advanced words.

Segmenting can be completed online or offline. For the online version, instruct students to log in to soundwaveskids.com.au and use the Segmenting Tool in the relevant Sound Unit. Make sure they choose the Extension Words button before they begin. Students can check they’ve correctly segmented each word as they go. They’ll also see a results summary once the activity is complete.

For offline segmenting, print the SXW Black Line Master (BLM) from the relevant unit home page. BLMs are also available as a bulk download from the Preparation and Planning page.

Create ‘Find a Word’ clues

Tell students to create their own Find a Word clues for Extension List Words, which they can then test on each other in pairs or small groups. For example, clues for the Year 4 chicken unit could include:

  • a tiny dog breed (chihuahua)
  • you usually eat this with fries (cheeseburger)
  • something you donate to (charity)
  • another word for winner (champion).

To successfully write and test their own clues, students will have to spell the words correctly and also understand the meaning of each word. This means the Find a Word activity effectively addresses both spelling and vocabulary skills.

Group words by graphemes

Ask students to group Extension List Words with the same grapheme for the focus sound. It is best to use sounds that have a variety of grapheme choices available. For example, the Extension List Words in Year 5 contain eight different graphemes for /air/, as opposed to the unit, which only has two graphemes for /b/.

Write silly sentences

Have students create silly sentences or stories containing as many of the Extension List Words as possible. For example, a silly sentence for the Year 4 unit could be: Tiny Max’s miniature cape’s marvellous, inflammable material gave him maximum enjoyment for a moment until Mary commented that, in her estimation, he had misjudged its magnificence.

If you find students write long, nonsensical sentences, set a limit on the number of words. Start off with 3–4 Extension Words per sentence before allowing students to use more. If students misuse a word, prompt them to check its meaning and then edit the sentence accordingly.

Go on a phoneme hunt

Ask students to peruse all 35 units of Extension List Words and identify words containing the week’s focus sound. It’s a good idea to set parameters for this activity, due to the word scope. For example, you could specify a certain number of words they need to find, or put a time limit on the task.

Do you know a creative way to use Extension List Words with super spellers? Share your ideas on social media and tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.