Word shape generator

Good spellers often recognise the shapes of words and one way to help weaker spellers is to encourage them to see these shapes too. For more on this see my posting: http://thespellingblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/seeing-spelling.html

I create worksheets for some of my spelling students with the outlines of words that they match with the words themselves. It takes ages in Word, fiddling about with tables and shading. So I was really pleased to find this: http://tools.atozteacherstuff.com/word-shapes/wordshapes.html You just type in the words and out pops a worksheet.

Here's one I made in less than a minute about words with 'p' and 'b', especially for my Arabic learners.

Also useful for confusing word endings such as 'el', 'al' and 'le'
( http://thespellingblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/spelling-words-ending-with-le-el-and-al.html )

What do you think? Useful?


I've just learnt a new word: cacography. It means poor spelling and or handwriting.

This is not a common word (I'd certainly never seen it before) but what a useful word it could be if we revived it:

"I'm not dyslexic, I'm just cacographic."
"The doctor who wrote the prescription obviously suffered from cacography."
"Spelling lessons for cacographers."

Caco- means bad or poor and comes from the Greek, kakos . -graphy is related to writing or recording.

Confusing prefixes: dis- and dys-

Disconnect, dislike, dishearten, disabled but dyslexia, dysphasia, dyspepsia.

These two prefixes, dis- and dys- seem to have very similar meanings - making a word negative. But it's a little more complicated than that.

Dis (from Latin, meaning apart) is much more common, so if you're not sure use this (dis). It makes a word negative, such as dislike. Or it can mean to reverse something: like disconnect

Dys-, on the other hand, comes from Greek and so is almost always used for medical or scientific words. It means bad or abnormal. So if you have dyspepsia you are not digesting your food well, people with dyslexia have some problems with language.