Spelling Strategy: C or K?

... or CK, of course? Doesn't this decision often pose a challenge for our younger spellers?


Knowing when to use C, K, or CK does, typically, confuse our younger students. Luckily, there is a fairly trustworthy rule for spelling the sound /K/ in most words. I have created the following tips and materials that help students apply this concept in a funny way as well!


>>> Hand around until the end of the post, and you'll find the link to a few freebies that you can immediately use in your classroom. >>>

To begin with, C is typically used to spell the sound /K/ prior to the vowels a, o, and u. These vowels are commonly referred to as the "fat vowels," and I use this visual aid to help students mentally store this reference.


In the past, I have sketched this image for students, but now I have created reference posters to easily depict this concept. Notice the placement of the vowels on the t-shirts. I explain that a, o, and u appear to have "bellies" that hang beneath their shirts. These letters are too "fat" for their shirts, so they need a "fat c" to spell the sound /k/.


We discuss familiar words that follow this rule, such as cat, cop, and cup.