At the beginning of last school year we had a gentleman come over to help EC with his reading and spelling. He was absolutely brilliant and gave us some techniques to use with EC to help him learn his spellings. One of these strategies was making word boxes. We have been using them over the year and it has been really useful. I have seen how much it helps EC learn his spellings and it has shown in his weekly test results.

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You will need:

  • Piece of paper
  • Pen

EC comes home with a new set of spelling every Monday.  On the first day we try to just spell them out. At this stage we aren’t worried about getting them right, but concentrate on listening to sounds that make up that particular word. If he gets it wrong, we look at what went wrong and what it should be.

The next day we use magnetic letters to spell out the words.

By the 3rd day we use these box words. Basically you need to draw a box for each letter of the word. BUT the box should shadow the size of the letter e.g. if it the letter is an l the box should be tall and thin. If it is an m then the box should be short and wide.


This technique really helps, especially if EC is forgetting letters or adding extra ones in because he can really see how many letters that the word has and he can also see the shape of the word.

Over the next few days he will just write out the word for me. I find that there is always a marked difference in how he does before and after using the box words.


We did these word boxes as an exercise this week, just to keep things ticking over during the school holidays.  I was amazed at how well he did. He even managed to correctly guess some of the words based on the shapes of the boxes!

Pin for later:

word boxes: a strategy to help with learning spellings. Great to use with dyslexics.