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Spelling Through Phonics

By Marlene McCracken & Robert McCracken
Foreword by Sheri Sutterley
Categories: Education, Reading & Phonics, Language Arts, Professional Development
Imprint: Portage & Main Press

Softcover, coil bound : 9781774920329, 200 pages, September 2022
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781774920336, 184 pages, October 2022
Ebook (PDF) : 9781774920343, 184 pages, October 2022
Expected to ship: 2022-09-06
Ebook (EPUB) - Unavailable
Ebook (PDF) - Unavailable

Table of contents



1. Introduction to the Program

Five Beliefs About the Teaching of Spelling

Writing Is an Alphabetic System

Four Insights About Print

Phonemic Awareness


  • Writing Tools
  • Letter Formation
  • Practice

2. Kindergarten

Immersing Kindergarten Children in Language

  • Hearing Language
  • Seeing Language
  • Using Language
  • Seeing Print in Use

A Brief Checklist of Kindergarten Activities

3. The First Weeks of Grade One

Readiness for Writing: Oral Language Time

  • Word Banks
  • Writing Structures
  • Response Writing
  • Story Frames

Readiness for Spelling

Ability Groups

How We Teach Spelling

  • Lesson One: Teaching the First Consonant
  • Lesson Two: Sequencing
  • Spelling Dictation on Subsequent Days
  • Teaching the First Vowel
  • Whole Words

4. Learning and Practicing

The Suggested Teaching Sequence

Temporary Spelling

  • How It Works

Teaching to Eliminate Errors

Teaching At-Risk Children

Independent Writing

  • Teaching What to Write
  • Teaching How to Write

Why Children Must Write Every Day

  • Three Writing Assignments

5. Reacting to Children's Writing

Reacting to Content

Reacting to Skill Level

How to Correct Children's Spelling

  • 1. Words That Should Be Corrected
  • 2. Words That Are Beyond the Child's Ability


Suggested Day Plan to Fit Skill Teaching

  • Into a Full Day

6. Spelling Dictation Grades 1–3

Teaching Strategies

  • Introducing
  • Practicing
  • Reviewing
  • Teaching

Grades One to Three Contents

  • Grade One
  • Grade Two
  • Grade Three

Grade One Spelling Dictation

Grade Two Spelling Dictation

Grade Three Spelling Dictation


Spelling Checklists

Grade One Spelling Checklist

Grade Two Spelling Checklist

Grade Three Spelling Checklist

Letter to Parents Regarding Temporary Spelling

Practice-Writing Page with Houses

Alphabet to Show Proper Letter Formation

Build students’ spelling, reading, and writing skills with the McCrackens’ proven framework for grades 1–3.


This 40th anniversary edition of the beloved bestseller, Spelling Through Phonics, has the same compact and easy-to-use format thousands of educators know and love! With the McCrackens’ original spelling instruction program, this book provides detailed instructions and reproducibles to help you

  • understand phonemic awareness, and how it helps children develop spelling and other literacy skills
  • teach spelling easily, quickly, and efficiently
  • integrate visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning strategies
  • effectively assess and react to students’ writing
  • provide immediate feedback as part of spelling instruction
  • organize students’ spelling practice within the school day
  • introduce, practice, and review new words and sounds with students in grades 1–3

Help your students become proficient spellers, as well as confident readers and writers, with this developmentally appropriate framework.

Dedicated to the memory of The McCrackens, this 40th anniversary edition honors their invaluable contributions to English language arts and literacy instruction across North America.


I absolutely love the McCracken books and probably have all of them. I think they have one of the best spelling programs around. Honestly, I couldn’t live without Spelling Through Phonics, the little yellow book.

Grade Onederful

In this fascinating and powerful little book, you will find the essence of effective and engaging instruction in spelling and phonics.

Shane Templeton

[With Spelling Through Phonics,] learning to spell is a sensory experience. Students know they are successful and want to continue spelling long beyond the allotted daily lesson time.

Dr. R. Anna Sanford