#48 Word Ladders
By: Lucy Bartram
What Are Word Ladders?
A type of game, or puzzle where students begin with one word and then make a series of other words by changing or rearranging the letters in the original word.
Why use this strategy?
- To build phonics and spelling skills
- Students must think about the meaning of words
- For younger grades: learn word families (ex: 'at' - cat, bat, rat, sat, etc.)
- For older grades: prefixes, suffixes
- Use weekly spelling words - fun way for students to study!
- Benefits for English Language Learners
- Create a word ladder using 5-15 words. Write appropriate clues to be shared with students.
- Supplies: worksheets, whiteboards, or blank paper with ladders already drawn on them
- Complete: Teachers read prepared clues while students correctly identify and spell the words.
- Review: Discuss any difficulties, patterns, or unfamiliar words. See if students have any other suggestions for words that could be used.
Teacher Resources, Children's Books, Student Activities for Teachers | Scholastic.com. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2015.
Tompkins, G. (2013). 50 Literacy Strategies: Step by Step (4th ed., pp. 148-150). Boston: Pearson.