The Spel-Lang Tree:
A Word Study Program

developed by

Grace Vyduna-Haskins, Ed.D.

The Spel-Lang Tree takes its name from Spelling and Language. It is the result of the author's many years of instructing primary classrooms and her careful monitoring of the positive results of changes in word study instruction (See data). After several years of use by teachers in first grade classrooms in Ringwood School, Johnsburg District 12, McHenry County, IL, it is also the result of requests by colleagues to publish it. Polishing and publishing this highly effective program has been a labor of love.

The Spel-Lang Tree: Seeds is a recent addition to the program. It is intended for kindergarten use or as a resource book for first grade teachers. It offers basic information about sounds and how they are produced and contains activities that are helpful for reinforcing sound/symbol relationships. A suggested sequence for instruction is provided.

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The Spel-Lang Tree: Roots is an innovative developmental, very carefully sequenced word study program designed for first grade students or for children who have not yet mastered sound/symbol relationships. It integrates the teaching of handwriting, phonics in context, spelling, sentence structure and grammar. Each basic lesson can be completed in about twenty minutes. Supplementary activities may be used at the teacher's discretion.

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The Spel-Lang Tree: Trunks is the second level of the program. Lessons in this manual build on knowledge gained from Roots. It places greater responsibility on the child to develop an expanded spelling and reading vocabulary. Traditional sight words are included along with more advanced language patterns word families, affixes, and the study of syllables. The child also learns to use pronouns, prepositions, and contractions in the writing process. In addition, the child learns Ghastly Ghostly words (a limited number of words containing gh patterns) via word hunts and categorizing patterns and sounds. While designed for second or third grade use, Trunks is appropriate for remedial groups at any grade level.

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Supplementary Materials: Supplementary materials are available which will help you implement the program. These include Sound/Symbol Cards and Wall Charts recommended in Roots, and Multi-Sensory Cards which will help children learn appropriate letter forms which lead to neat printing. Other products include ABC Projects, Contraction Strips, Word Games, Phoneme Grapheme Cards, Creative Coloring Concepts (free download), and Reading Fones.

Many of these materials have been made available for free by the author. All proceeds from sales of printed materials go directly to the not-for-profit Johnsburg Educational Partnership Foundation to fund an English/Communications Scholarship, offered annually to a deserving senior at Johnsburg High School, Johnsburg, Illinois.