Spelling Using the Senses

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Here at Spellzone, we encourage our students to learn spelling using as many senses as they can. By learning in this way, we are able to connect as many associations as possible with the spelling of a particular word. These associations should help trigger our memories when we are trying to remember spellings.

So how we can be aware of the five senses when learning spelling?


When learning a word, LOOK closely at it. Then cover it up and try to remember how the letters are positioned on the page. Picture your own handwriting and the way the letters look beside each other.

Sometimes if you spell a word in a few different ways, one of the spellings will LOOK more familiar than the others. It can be useful to have scrap of paper to hand to do this on – often it is possible to tell which word ‘just looks right’. For example toylet vs. toilet or tois vs. toys.

It is also possible that the words you are looking for may be close to hand, perhaps on a worksheet or in a dictionary, on a billboard or on a book cover. If you can recognise the shape of words, you will be able to use these aids to help you find the correct spelling.

Click here to learn more about the Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check method of testing.

You can also utilise how a word LOOKS on the page to create a mnemonic – find out more here.


When you use the Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check method, it is also useful to pay attention to the SOUND of a word. Break down each syllable as you say a word – this might give you a clue about how to spell it.

The Spellzone dictionary also allows you to listen to how a word is pronounced. Search for the word you are looking for and click on the speaker icon to hear it. Pay attention to how the SOUND of the word is similar or different to the spelling.

If you are focussing on the sounds of words, you might find it useful to use rhymes to create mnemonics. Find out more here.


Muscle memory can play an important part in learning spelling. When practicing the word, both writing it and typing it out can be helpful. FEEL how the pen moves on the page, or where the letters are on the keyboard. After a while your hands will train themselves to automatically create the shapes of certain words.

You may also find it useful to notice how your mouth and tongue moves when pronouncing particular words. Associating these movements with spelling patterns may help trigger your memory.


While, for most people, these two senses won’t be of much use when it comes to learning spellings, there are some who might find that certain smells and tastes trigger certain memories. Others might reward themselves with a sweet treat after each word they spell correctly… any opportunity for chocolate is surely good for learning, right?

Have a great week!

18 Sep 2017
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"Thank goodness for Spellzone during this remote learning phase. The site is easy for students to navigate independently and they're really enjoying the activities and spelling games. You get an awful lot for your money with Spellzone. Really reassuring is the very prompt response with helpdesk queries. I've very rarely needed the helpdesk, but when I have, the issue has been addressed and sorted within a very short time."

Sarah Taggart, Oasis Academy Lord's Hill