Creative Spelling is a series for small classrooms utilizing calssical educational methods with creative varietyFounded on the research of Prof. Rolland Menk. 3 tests and 1 assignment each week with recorded contextual CDs.Check out these screenshots and examplesA complete series for grades 2-8, with 3 levels in each and email


As I put five children through grade school I repeatedly heard a hatred for spelling workbooks voiced. Eventually it came to my attention that many teachers had the same dislike. And so it just happened that one particular teacher gave me an extensive list of words and asked if I wanted to figure out a way to present them. I accepted the challenge. Years later, as those five children headed to college, I completed this series for students from 2nd grade to 8th grade.

The bulk of the research was provided by Professor Rolland Menk of Martin Luther College. His compilations came from Ernest Horn, James Fitzgerald, Thomas Horn, and Walter Petty. His list included words from The Kottmeyer Spelling Program; The New Iowa Spelling Scale, and Basic Goals in Spelling.

In addition, words have been taken from small individual lists and from the Scripps Howard spelling bee book.

The aforementioned educators looked to classical education for teaching spelling and vocabulary - an education promoting virtue by learning how to learn. Assignments have been designed to spark interest with variety, to promote practical usage of words, to reinforce grammar, and to promote independent and analytical thinking.

The format uses recordings of each spelling word used in a contextual sentence. This demonstrates to the student how the word is used. The student is provided with a word sheet to be used for assignments and studying.


So how does it work?

Each week there will be three tests and an assignment with the same list of words.

Monday: Pretest
The pretest will give the student an idea how much studying will be needed. The student immediately corrects his own paper, writing the correct spellings next to the misspelled ones.

Tuesday: Assignment
Word lists are designed for one week. Suggested assignments precede each week’s word lists.

Wednesday: Midweek Test
A practice test that will give students an idea of their readiness for Friday’s test. If only one word is misspelled reward the student by passing the Friday test. Again, have the student immediately correct the test.

Thursday: Study
It is up to the teacher to promote spelling learning skills. The most proven, of course, is to 1) look at the word, 2) cover the word, 3) write it or say it yourself, and 4) uncover the word and check it – ten to fifteen minutes a day should be enough.

Friday: The Final Test
This test should be corrected by the teacher. For review the student could keep an ongoing list of words not mastered.


Assignments are creative, giving the student an opportunity to play with words. Some examples are:
  • write a story with the words
  • write definitions
  • design a crossword puzzle
  • unscramble the words (before seeing them)
  • arrange them alphabetically
  • find the word within a word
  • write riddles with the words


The course begins in the 2nd semester of the 2nd grade. Each student takes a leveling test of sixty words to determine grade and grade level placement.

There are three levels within each grade: easy (e), average (v), and accelerated (c). The number of words vary with grade level:
  • 2e                      8 words
  • 2v                    10 words
  • 2c – 3e            15 words
  • 3v                    20 words

  • 3c – 8c            25 words


A national spelling bee is held each year in Washington D.C.  Prior to this is state competition and prior to this a county competition.

I have provided four weeks to prepare for the county competition. The first week could end with a grade or classroom spelling bee and the second week with a school spelling bee comprised of winners from the previous week. Those elected to enter the county competition would then have a week or more for intense preparation.


Continue on to Samples for screenshots and audio samples.