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Understanding Patterns Contained Within Words

In this worksheet, students will rehearse how to accurately use different pattern within words, when spelling accurately. Having a sound knowledge of different letter strings is key for the SATs SPAG test.

'Understanding Patterns Contained Within Words' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Exam-Style Questions: SATs English

Curriculum subtopic:   Exam-Style Questions: Spellings

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Welcome to this activity...it is great preparation for the SPAG spelling test. 

 

In this activity, you will practice how to use a variety of letter strings contained within words.

 

In the SPAG Spelling test, you will be expected to be able to correctly spell a range of words containing different letter strings.

 

These letter strings are:

  • ei/ie​
  • ough​
  • silent letters, b, s, n, t, k

 

During the test, when you are asked to spell a word you don't know, there are a number of tricks you can use to help you have a go...

 

1. Split the word up into syllables.

 

For example:

Nonsense = Non/sense

Coincidence = Co/in/ci/dence

 

2. Look, Cover, Write and Check

 

This was probably one of the first tricks you learned when beginning to spell.

 

Have a look at the word shoulder, use these top tips below to help you learn to spell this word correctly.

 

eye 

 

Look at the shape of the word, notice which letters are taller and which ones are shorter.

 

mouth

 

Say the word aloud, what sounds can you hear? Repeat the word a few times so you can really hear each sound clearly.

 

 hand

 

Cover up the word. You can put your hand over the top of the word, or simply close your eyes.

Now you can see the word in your mind. Maybe you can write it in the air using your favourite colour?

Open your eyes to check. Have you spelt it correctly?

 

In the spelling part of your SPAG test, your teacher will read aloud 20 different words for you to write down. 

The 20 words will fit into sentences on your test paper, with a gap for the spelling.

We would advise that you print your letters for this test so the marker can easily read your answer.

 

Over to you now to practice using some of the spellings that may pop up!

 

In the SPAG test, you may be asked a question that uses the spelling rule, 'i before e, except after c'.

 

Can you type each word, choosing whether to insert 'ei' or 'ie' into the gap?

 

A pupil has done really well in their SPAG test and only made one error.

 

Can you identify the error made?

 

Achieve

Retrieve

Conceive

Percieve

Sometimes, the rule, 'i before e, except after c' does not work!

 

See if you can use either 'ie' or 'ei' correctly in the spaces below.

 

Achieve

Retrieve

Conceive

Percieve

As part of the SPAG test, you may be asked to spell words that contain 'ough'.

 

Below is a list of words using the letter pattern 'ough', can you select only the words that are spelt correctly?

 

althogh

dough

plough

enouf

Here there are a variety of words that contain the pattern 'ough'.

 

Can you match each word to the correct sentence in order to use each in context?

 

Column A

Column B

Half a dozen eggs will be ______for breakfast.
thorough
The battle was ______ bravely by the soldiers.
enough
I like to do a ________ check when packing my suit...
fought

In the SPAG test, you may be asked to spell words that contain silent letters.

 

Silent letters are letters that can't be heard when the word is spoken.

 

Charlotte has worked extremely hard to practice her spellings with different silent letters.

 

Can you select the word she has spelt incorrectly?

 

Thumb

Numb

Knapsack

Nee

Some words are missing a silent letter!

 

Can you help by inserting the missing silent letter?

Thumb

Numb

Knapsack

Nee

Below are two words that are missing the silent letter...can you insert the missing letter?

Thumb

Numb

Knapsack

Nee

Time for you to be the teacher!

 

In her SPAG test, Laura has spelt this word:

 

narl

 

Does it look correct or incorrect?

 

Correct

Incorrect

Timothy has written the following sentence in a recent test.

 

Ethan was so excited, ___________ was his favourite time of year.

 

Should he use the spelling 'Chrismas' or 'Christmas' to correctly complete his sentence?

 

Chrismas

Christmas

  • Question 1

In the SPAG test, you may be asked a question that uses the spelling rule, 'i before e, except after c'.

 

Can you type each word, choosing whether to insert 'ei' or 'ie' into the gap?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on with this first question? Most words in the English language follow the rule, 'i before e except after c'. When a word has the long /e/ sound, this rule will work. Keep going!
  • Question 2

A pupil has done really well in their SPAG test and only made one error.

 

Can you identify the error made?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Percieve
EDDIE SAYS
Did you spot that the pupil's error has been made on the fourth spelling? Instead of containing 'ie', the word should contain 'ei' and look like this: perceive. This is a great start, keep it up!
  • Question 3

Sometimes, the rule, 'i before e, except after c' does not work!

 

See if you can use either 'ie' or 'ei' correctly in the spaces below.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How are you doing? If the word has an 'ay' sound in it, for example, 'weigh' or 'eight', it will have the 'e' before the 'i'. If the word contains the letters 'cien', it does not follow the 'i before e, except after c rule.' For example 'ancient' or 'sufficient'.
  • Question 4

As part of the SPAG test, you may be asked to spell words that contain 'ough'.

 

Below is a list of words using the letter pattern 'ough', can you select only the words that are spelt correctly?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
dough
plough
EDDIE SAYS
Did you see that options 2 and 3 are spelt correctly, whereas 1 and 4 are not? Correctly spelt, they look like this: 'although' and 'enough'. Both words are missing letters from the pattern 'ough'. You will need to be very accurate on the SPAG test and ensure that each word has all of the correct letters, in the correct order. This activity will help you to be prepared to do that!
  • Question 5

Here there are a variety of words that contain the pattern 'ough'.

 

Can you match each word to the correct sentence in order to use each in context?

 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Half a dozen eggs will be ______f...
enough
The battle was ______ bravely by ...
fought
I like to do a ________ check whe...
thorough
EDDIE SAYS
You are working hard, keep it up! Read each sentence aloud and try all options to see which word should be used in the correct context. The letter pattern 'ough' gives many different sounds.
  • Question 6

In the SPAG test, you may be asked to spell words that contain silent letters.

 

Silent letters are letters that can't be heard when the word is spoken.

 

Charlotte has worked extremely hard to practice her spellings with different silent letters.

 

Can you select the word she has spelt incorrectly?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Nee
EDDIE SAYS
Did you notice that the incorrect spelling is option 4? It is missing the silent letter 'k' and should be spelt as 'knee'. Although silent letters are not pronounced, they make a huge difference to the meaning of the word.
  • Question 7

Some words are missing a silent letter!

 

Can you help by inserting the missing silent letter?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Don't panic if you found this difficult, it is tricky to think of the correct silent letter! It can be hard to remember which words use silent letters. To help you, you can link the word with another to help you to hear the silent letter, for example, sign and signal.
  • Question 8

Below are two words that are missing the silent letter...can you insert the missing letter?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
You're making great progress! Both words were missing the silent 'n' at the end of the word. A useful tip is that the letter 'n' is often silent after 'm'. Keep it up- you're nearly at the end of the activity!
  • Question 9

Time for you to be the teacher!

 

In her SPAG test, Laura has spelt this word:

 

narl

 

Does it look correct or incorrect?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Incorrect
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to mark the spelling as 'incorrect'? Laura has not spelt the word correctly, it should look like this: 'gnarl'. There is a silent 'g' at the beginning of the word. Gnarl means a rough or knotty part of a tree. If you are unsure of the meaning of a word, use a dictionary to help you. Learning spellings is a brilliant way to expand your vocabulary and improve your writing.
  • Question 10

Timothy has written the following sentence in a recent test.

 

Ethan was so excited, ___________ was his favourite time of year.

 

Should he use the spelling 'Chrismas' or 'Christmas' to correctly complete his sentence?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Christmas
EDDIE SAYS
Awesome job if you chose 'Christmas'. The second option contains the silent letter 't'. T is also not pronounced in these common words: castle, fasten, listen and whistle. Great focus! That's another activity ticked off!
Try it ---- OR ----

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