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Ladder Words

January 29, 2009

using ladder words game to practice spelling

Ladder Words are made with your child’s spelling words in a form that looks like a ladder and your child fills in the missing letters. This activity repeats the letters in a cascade style so hecan easily succeed at the activity while learning the order of the letters for each spelling word.

Preparation for Lesson

Set Up the Ladder Words:
  1. Using graph paper, lined paper or on the computer, set up the spelling words from group A in the Ladder Word format.
  2. Make sure that each line of each word lines up on the left margin. Also, be sure the spacing for each letter is lined up with the letter above, if the letters are not directly under each other some children get confused as to which letter they should put in the blank spots.
    For example: cat would be written:

    c a t
    _ a t
    c _ t
    c a _
    _ _ _

Ladder Words Lesson


  • Set up the ladder words for your son
  • lined paper or graph paper (or you could type it on your computer)
  • spelling words from group A
  • pencil

When your son is ready, show him the sheet with the words. Model what he should do with each word. Say, “Cat, c,a,t, now the next line it has a blank. That’s for…(pause) c, then an a and t”. Continue doing it for the whole example and then ask him what is happening and if he understands what to do. He may notice it is a pattern or that it has missing letters.

  1. Using a pencil have your child fill in the missing letters.
  2. Your son should get in the habit of saying the letters as he is filling them in because as the words get longer it will help him remember the letters in the correct order.
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