Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors




Research has been conducted to determine the best method of teaching spelling instruction. Several studies have concluded that differentiated spelling instruction is the best method to teach spelling. In this type of instruction, the teacher determines the students' spelling level and then delivers spelling instruction based on their spelling level. To test this theory of instruction I conducted my own study using fourth grade students. I determined that differentiated instruction improves students' spelling by providing instruction that is specific to students' ability level and needs while offering high-quality instruction.

I compared two groups of students in my study. With the intervention group I delivered standard spelling instruction as well as differentiated spelling instruction using Words Their Way, an instruction manual and guide. The other group, or control group, was given only the standard spelling instruction. I worked with the intervention group for a seven-week period. At the end of the seven weeks I delivered a post-assessment to determine if the differentiated spelling instruction increased the intervention group's spelling level. The results showed that the intervention group advanced further in spelling levels than the control group.

Included in

Education Commons



Faculty Mentor

Sylvia Read

Departmental Honors Advisor

Deborah Byrnes

Capstone Committee Member

John Smith