Spelling so often seems like learning rules and memorizing sounds and patterns. But what happens when our spelling lessons or activities use the 3 story intellect? Students learn to:
- Gather information
- Process information
- Apply information
And at the same time, they develop spelling skills.
The 3 story intellect
Let’s take a closer look at the different stories in the 3 story intellect.
1st story — Gathering
The first story (the ground floor on the house) is Gathering. Students start by gathering information. Often this is factual information or something they can collect from a text or source. Some of the questions or activities at this level include:
2nd story — Processing
As we move up in levels, students are asked to use a different level of thinking. Story 2 is the Processing story. Students work with the information they’ve gathered. Some of the questions or activities at this level include:
3rd story — Applying
Students are asked to take their thinking to the next level and apply it. Some of the questions or activities at this level include:
- Answer If/Then questions
Using the 3 story intellect with spelling
So how do these levels apply to spelling? Here are a few ways I’ve used the 3 story intellect in my classroom for spelling instruction.
Gathering ideas for spelling
For Gathering activities, students use their words in very basic ways. They identify them, list them, define them. For example, they could do a word search, create word snakes or word triangles, or write definitions of their spelling words. Students could also complete sentences using their spelling words. Many of these activities are the kinds you might include in traditional spelling worksheets.
Processing ideas for spelling
For Processing activities, students will be asked to think more about their spelling words. Students could analyze their word list to find different spellings for certain sounds. They could sort words by spelling patterns or put them into alphabetical order. They could make lists of antonyms or synonyms for particular words.
Applying ideas for spelling
For Applying activities, students take what they’ve learned and do something with it. Students might write sentences using their words (one of the most common Applying activities used for spelling), but there are other options too. Students could create mnemonics for their spelling words or use them in riddles and see if fellow classmates can guess the word. They can use what they have learned to edit a piece of writing.
The 3 story intellect is a great way to organize your spelling center. I’ve created a spelling contract that I use with students that incorporates all three stories. Students choose activities from each level or story to complete over a two-week period. The contract and activities can be used for any list of words.
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