Literacy Centers

Literacy centers are a great way to reinforce students’ reading/writing habits, which allows teachers to focus on instruction rather than classroom management.

Popular literacy center models such as The Daily 5™ and Reader’s Workshop include a center on word study or vocabulary. VocabularySpellingCity’s tools integrate easily with these models to support word practice time by providing activities that help students independently review new literacy topics, practice them, and assess their learning.

VocabularySpellingCity makes it simple for you to assign word lists and activities to your students, who can then log in to access their assignments.


1st Grade Sample List
Click 'Continue' to play with this list or enter your own

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

an Activity


Play and Learn
Play the game using your words

Choosing the Right Activity

You can develop lists for word work around weekly studies — grammar lessons (such as making plurals or subject-verb agreement), content vocabulary, phonics lessons, or spelling lessons. Word work should be part of an integrated approach that includes subject matter from across the curriculum for the week’s lessons. You can choose VocabularySpellingCity activities and games based on students’ learning levels and educational focus.

For example, a first grade class studying the -ack word family to build basic phonics skills might be assigned Audio Word Match to link aural and visual knowledge of new or known words. The class could build phonological knowledge with Which Initial Sound?, and play Word Unscramble to practice sound-letter correspondence and confirm new spelling knowledge. They can practice segmenting words into syllables with SillyBulls.

A second grade class with a list of sight words could play WhichWord? Sentences to reinforce meaning and context, and Spelling TestMe to measure proficiency.

A fifth grade class with a vocabulary list of challenging multisyllabic words might use Word-O-Rama, a game that works well on an interactive whiteboard, to broaden understanding of word meanings through contextual reading.

Reading and Writing Time

Many literacy centers focus on a major reading program. If you’re using Journeys©, Reading Street©, Evan-Moor®, or Wonders©, VocabularySpellingCity has key vocabulary and spelling lists on the site, ready to use with each week’s reading lessons.

If your students have a choice of materials to read, you can allow them to create personal lists to study, entering words they find interesting or challenging. A Premium Membership to VocabularySpellingCity allows students to enter and save their own weekly lists.

If your center includes writing time, VocabularySpellingCity provides structure and content to help students confirm understanding of word meanings by using each word in context. Sentence Writing Practice and Paragraph Writing Practice activities allow students to input their own writing, hear it read aloud, edit it, and publish a final product. That’s several steps toward literacy in one activity.

No matter which literacy center model you use, VocabularySpellingCity provides great tools to help your students learn and succeed while having fun.