Grade 5 Spelling

Discover Grade 5 spelling standards

By the time children reach Grade 5, they’re expected to use a combination of strategies to spell correctly. They should use their knowledge of spelling patterns, word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts, and homophones to write and check their spelling. Dictionaries and other reference materials should be used where appropriate. To begin, you can download our Grade 5 spelling word lists and the Dolch word list here!

Here is a list of some examples of fifth grade spellings and strategies:

Spelling Patterns

In order to correctly identify common 5th grade spelling patterns, children must continue to put their knowledge of phonics to good use. Here is a word list including some common spelling patterns your child will come across at this grade level:

  • ou words: country, course, outside, shouted, wound,
  • who- words: whoever, whole, whose
  • Silent Letters: muscle, answer, chaos, scissors

Practice Tip

Try this silent letter spelling challenge on Night Zookeeper to help your child develop their spelling skills!

Spelling patterns challenge on, displayed on laptop screen.

Word Families

Word families are groups of words that have the same root word, but use different prefixes and suffixes to change their meanings. Here are some word lists for different word families:

  • weigh, weight, weighed, weighing, weightless, outweigh, weighty
  • solve, solution, soluble, unsolved, solvable, solvent
  • different, difference, differently, differ, indifferent
Word family lesson on, displayed on laptop screen.

Position-based Spellings

Here are some important position-based spellings your child should master at fifth grade level:

  • i before e except after c: receive, deceive, conceive
  • y making the /i/ sound in the middle of words: syllable, syrup, rhythm, type, oxygen, crystal

Syllable Patterns

It’s important that your child knows the correct syllable division rules in fifth grade. Here are some word lists you can share to help your child consolidate their knowledge:

  • Multi-syllable compound words: notebook, sunset, suitcase, teaspoon, newspaper, daytime
  • Consonant-l-e words: jungle, puzzle, possible

Ending Rules

By Grade 5, your child should understand various word ending rules. Below are two word lists on different ending rules to share with your fifth grader.

  • -ed: happened, finished, continued, appointed, climbed, decided, agreed, stretched, spoiled, prepared
  • -ing: beginning, interesting, stopping, rising

Meaningful Word Parts


A prefix can be added at the beginning of a word in order to change its meaning. Here is a prefix spelling list that you can use when going over this topic with your child:

  • re- remove, repay, represent
  • dis-: disappoint,
  • un-:unknown
  • pre-: prepare, prewash, pregame


On the other hand, a suffix can be added to the end of a word. Here’s a helpful suffix spelling list to add to your spelling resources:

  • -tion: action, condition, addition, attention, election, equation, intention, protection, information, direction, station
  • -ful: wonderful, thoughtful, graceful,
  • -ly: probably, quickly, quietly, usually, sincerely, rarely, happily, finally, carefully, actually,
  • -ment: enjoyment, amendment, government, instrument, amusement, payment, treatment,
  • -able: replaceable, washable, noticeable, changeable, knowledgeable
Suffix lesson on, displayed on laptop screen.


Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Here’s a short fifth grade spelling word list your child can use:

  • allowed/aloud
  • capitol/capital
  • ascent/assent
  • descent/dissent
  • isle/aisle

How Night Zookeeper can help

Night Zookeeper logo, displayed on tablet screen.

Night Zookeeper is a language arts program that makes reading and writing fantastically fun for children in Grades 1 to 6. You can use Night Zookeeper as a supplemental educational resource, or as a full homeschool language arts curriculum, but either way we promise to keep your child engaged, focused, entertained, and excited about learning!

Our online program is perfect for fifth graders to improve their spelling skills. Our award-winning content has been developed by education experts and whether or not your child is a reluctant learner, we’re sure they’ll love the activities available! These include:

  • Spelling games focused on specific topics, such as sight words and phonics
  • Spelling challenges covering spelling patterns, prefixes, suffixes, and much more
  • Interactive reading comprehension lesson series to teach context and relevance
  • Printable spelling worksheets for offline learning
  • A LOT more!

Sign up today to access thousands of fantastically fun educational resources and get a FREE 7-day trial!

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