Word Study Instruction to Improve Spelling Accuracy

Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2019

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Courtney Lalonde


word study, spelling, words their way, third grade, spelling accuracy



The purpose of this research study was to examine the effectiveness of the Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary and Spelling Instruction (Bear et. al., 2016) program on third grade students’ spelling development. “What are the effects of using small group word study instruction on individual student progression through the spelling stages?” and “How does a structured developmental word study program help to increase student’s daily spelling ability?” were the two questions the researcher was aiming to answer. Study participants were twenty-one third grade students ages 8-9 from a small kindergarten through 4th grade rural school. The students were assessed using the Words Their Way Primary Spelling Inventory and placed into one of three word study groups with students at a similar instructional spelling level. Students participated in five weeks of small group word study instruction, modeling, and inquiry. A post-intervention spelling inventory was given to examine the effect of the word study instruction on spelling proficiency. A writing sample was collected from each student to analyze spelling proficiency both pre-intervention and post-intervention. This information was analyzed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Words Their Way program on spelling proficiency within each student’s daily writing. It was found that the Words Their Way program helps students gain the spelling knowledge they need to successfully improve spelling accuracy.

Abstract only: No full text available.