Q:

Next year, my daughter will be going into second grade. She is a poor speller. What words should she have learned to spell in first grade? I want to help her learn these words this summer. -- Want to Help

A:

We have a list of words that your daughter should have learned to spell in first grade. It is based on the research of Steven Graham, Karen R. Harris and Connie Loynachan. The idea behind their research was to help educators know which words should be taught to children in grades one through five. The list contains 850 words that account for 80 percent of the words children use in their writing. Readers can find the complete list of spelling words for grades one through five online at www.readingrockets.org/article/22366. The words marked with an asterisk are the ones that cause trouble.

You will find the words for first grade below. They are arranged in alphabetical order. When your daughter masters this list, you can go online and get the list for second grade so she will become familiar with some of those words. Don't just drill her on spelling words -- use them in simple games so learning the words will be fun.

dad, day*, did, do, dog*, fat, for, fun*, get*, go, good*, got*, had*, hat, he*, hen, here, him*, his*, home*, hot, I*, if, in*, into*, is, it*, its*, let, like*, look, man, may, me*, mom, my*, no*, not, of, oh, old, on*, one*, out*, pan, pet, pig, play*, ran, rat, red, ride, run, sat, see, she, sit, six, so, stop, sun, ten, the*, this, to*, top, toy, two*, up, us, was*, we*, will*, yes, you*