Thursday, March 1, 2012

Estudiando palabras: Palabras con r/rr

Do your students struggle with spelling in Spanish? Even though Spanish is a much more transparent language than English, there are plenty of confusing letters that can give our students problems. I've created a unit focusing on the sonido fuerte and sonido suave of the letters r/rr based on the methods described in one of my favorite books, Words Their Way. You can download the printables for $1 here!

No matter what the grade, I think picture sorts are a great place to start a unit, especially with the letters r/rr. Ask students to identify whether the r sound in each picture sounds fuerte or suave. When students are able to do this successfully, begin using the word cards. I would suggest using Level A for first grade, Level B for second grade, and Level C for third grade. Of course, you could also use all three levels to differentiate in one grade level!

After you sort the word cards based solely on the sound, ask students to look closely at the r or rr in each word. Use the second sorting mat to divide the cards in the sonido fuerte column into two more categories. Ideally, your students will figure out this pattern on their own but if they are still new at sorting, you may need to point it out.

If you have time during that lesson, have the students wipe their mats clean and do a speed sort a few more times. Throughout the rest of the week, students can pair up and do a no-peeking sort that will help them remember and apply the pattern. To do a no-peeking sort, have one partner read the word while the other partner writes the word in the appropriate column on the sort mat (sticking the mat in a sheet protector with dry-erase markers works great!). The first partners checks the spelling and then they switch roles.

Here is a game board for a spelling center. Place the word cards on the mat. Each student takes a turn drawing a word card. He reads the card and then hands it to the person to his right. He writes the word on a dry erase board or scrap paper. The neighbor checks the spelling. If it is correct, the player rolls a dice to move his railroad car forward. The first person to make it to the train wins!

So what do you find are the most confusing letters in Spanish for your students? Let me know what spelling units you would like to see!


  1. These are wonderful, thanks! I also use Words Their Way for my English spelling and we do the word sorts each week. I have the "Formando palabras" book in Spanish, but sometimes it doesn't have everything I feel that my kids need so I end up making things on my own. I know other letters my kids struggle with are the common ones - b/v, ll/y, h muda, and also the suffixes cion/sion. If you have any great ideas for these sounds, I would love to hear them :)

    The Second Grade Superkids

  2. Hi Candis,
    I just gave you an award...come check it out!

  3. Hello I am a 2nd grade dual language teacher that just started blogging. In my search I found your blog and I really like the game. You mentioned different levels of words, A,B,C. Where would I get the list? Thanks for sharing your great ideas.

    Visit me at:

  4. Karla, I am excited about your new blog! I will add you to my blog roll too.
    I am going to work on putting out more word study units this summer. As for the lists, you don't have to actually make three different words list for the entire year because your students are all going to use the same lists but at different times. I used the Spanish assessment at the back of the Words Their Way book and then grouped my students into three groups along that spectrum. I would look at the patterns that each group needed to study and then found words that represented those patterns. is a very basic website where you can type in letter patterns and search for all of the words in the Spanish language that have those letters together. It is not the most efficient but one way to do it. You can also find word lists from your Spanish reading or grammar basal. I never like all of the words on these lists but it can get me started! As you create the lists for your highest group, just know that your lower groups will eventually use those same lists!
    Hope that helps!

  5. Where do I need to click to download the printables?

  6. The printable was free at the time of original posting and it is now available for just a $1 at my TpT store!


Join the conversation in English or español! You know you have something to say!