One of the simple ways we work on learning spelling is by recognising and sorting the correct and incorrect spellings of words. When my eldest first started getting spellings from school, I would test him on his spelling words and then get him to test me, but in my test I would make quite a few purposeful mistakes to see if he would pick them up when checking my answers to score my work. He always found it funny to pick up my mistakes and correct them, and it added a bit of fun to our spelling practice.

I expanded this simple idea to make a hearts spelling activity for our Valentines early elementary learning theme.

Valentines and hearts themed spelling activity. Sorting the right and wrong spellings of words, to make a fun game for spelling practice

To set up the activity we used:

  • Plastic tray (I like to use the Ikea SMULA tray for activities like this – it is only £1 and very versatile, so comes in really handy)
  • Chalk markers (dry wipe markers should also work)
  • Coloured paper and pen
  • Scissors

First, we drew a heart and a broken heart onto the tray using the chalk markers. I used the Chalkola brand. These will wipe off once you’re done, so they are great for this type of activity, allowing you to draw directly onto the tray to set up something temporarily.

If you don’t have the markers or tray, just draw the hearts on a large piece of paper, cut them out and blu-tack the hearts directly on to the table and that will work just as well.

Next, I wrote out pairs of spelling words with the correct and incorrect version for each one. For these I used words from my 6 year old’s school spelling book, and took some of the incorrect ones from mistakes he had made in previous tests, and for other incorrect ones I just made them up myself.

This activity will work for any group of spellings, but was great for some of the words we had been working on where the spelling is not the same as you would immediately think when sounding it out. Eg: Acid, not asid.

IKEA Smula tray and chalkola markers to set up a spelling activity

I found T sorted the words better when presented with the pair of right and wrong at the same time, to compare and make his choice about which one was correct, rather than taking random words from the pile and attempting to sort, but you can also play with the activity that way depending on your child’s confidence with the words.

sorting the right and wrong spellings with a heart themed spelling activity

With some of the pairs of words, he had to look quite closely to work out what the difference was before he could choose the right and wrong answer – like friend and freind, whereas others were more obvious.

friend and freind sorting the right and wrong spellingsEach week we can add extra words, and remove the ones that he is finding too easy. If you want your child to be able to check their own work and self correct it if working independently with this activity, you could add a small tick or cross on to the back of each word so that they could turn it over and check once they have finished sorting.

sorting the right and wrong spellings in a heart themed valentines spelling game

More Valentines themed learning activities for KS1 / Early elementary age

great collection of Valentines themed learning activities for KS1 / Early elementary age

Low Prep Rounding Activity by Life Over C’s

Conversation Heart More or Less Activity by Raising Little Superheroes

{FREE} Valentine’s Math Game for PreK to 4th Grade from Preschool Powol Packets

Needle Felted Heart by Rainy Day Mum

Tile Printed Heart Cards from Peakle Pie

Broken Hearts Compound Words from School Time Snippets

Kid’s Engineering: Valentines Heart Bombs from Thriving STEM