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Grade 6 Spelling

Children in Grade 6 have a rapidly growing vocabulary. They are using and writing words with a greater variety of prefixes and suffixes. Their spelling needs to keep stride with the breadth of their topic learning. In subjects such as maths and science, children will be expected to spell domain-specific technical vocabulary.

This article includes examples of Grade 6 spellings and strategies that could be used to spell them.

Prefixes

Simply put, prefixes are a group of letters that can be placed at the beginning of a root word. This changes the meaning of the root word, just like these examples:

  • un-: unbelievable
  • in-: independence, invisible
  • mis-: mistaken, misunderstand

Ensuring that your sixth-grade student has a good grasp of common prefixes can help them not only spell longer words, but also decode their meaning when reading them.

Suffixes

A suffix is essentially the opposite of a prefix. You child will use these at the end of common root words. Here are some examples that your sixth-grade child may already be familiar with:

  • -ment: appointment, department, disagreement, encouragement
  • -ness: happiness, forgiveness, emptiness, thoroughness
  • -ing: forgetting, listening, transferring, preferring, concerning
  • -ly: separately, simply, recently, scarcely, accidentally, beautifully, especially

Technical Spellings

Children in Grade 6 will be expected to write an increasing amount of formal reports including technical, academic language. Here are just a few words that they may need to use in math and science at 6th grade level.

  • arithmetic
  • capacity
  • denominator
  • numerator
  • radius
  • ratio
  • multiple
  • predict
  • pollution
  • scientific
  • positive
  • negative

Homophones

Your child may know from earlier grade levels that some words sound the same but are spelled differently. These are called homophones and can cause confusion for some children. Only regular practice with these words will help to ensure they spell them accurately. Here are a few examples that you could use to practice with your 6th grader:

  • hangar/hanger
  • advice/advise
  • principle/principal
  • stationary/stationery
  • steal/steel

Consonant l-e

Children will learn about consonant l-e syllable words in 6th grade. These are words where a consonant is followed by an l and then a silent e. Here are some examples:

  • example
  • comfortable
  • capable
  • remarkable
  • recycle
  • noticeable
  • wrinkle
  • visible
  • struggle
  • vegetable

Word Families

The following words are never alone because they part of a word family. There are lots of different word families and they all share certain characteristics. Words in a family either share a common meaning, pattern of feature. This is what brings them together. Here's an example of the 'visible' family:

  • visible
  • invisibile
  • visibility
  • invisibility
  • visibly
  • invisibly

Proofreading

By Grade 6, children should be routinely proofreading their own work for spelling errors. This is an important part of the drafting skills that they will have developed in previous grade levels.

Practice Tip: You could challenge your child to identify sentences where there are no visible spelling errors. Just like in the below quiz on nightzookeeper.com.

How Night Zookeeper Can Help

Nightzookeeper.com is a great program for a sixth-grade student to develop their spelling skills. Alongside the wealth of writing prompts, there are a series of games and challenges that focus on spelling techniques that sixth-grade children will need to practice on a regular basis. Just one hour a week on nightzookeeper.com can help your child grow into a confident speller and author.

Related articles:

Grade 6 Reading

Grade 6 Writing

Grade 6 Grammar

Coming soon:

Grade 6 Punctuation

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