Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


English language -- Orthography and spelling -- Study and teaching (Early childhood); Phonetic spelling -- Study and teaching (Early childhood);


This review of literature explored the use of inventive spelling in early childhood classrooms. The following three questions were posed: 1) Should inventive spelling be an instructional practice used in early childhood classrooms? 2) What is the relationship between inventive spelling development and other areas of children's literacy development? 3) What are the best practices for using inventive spelling in the classroom? Based on an analysis of pertinent, peer-reviewed articles and books, it was determined that inventive spelling has a valuable place in early childhood classrooms. Some benefits of using inventive spelling include a reduction of fear about writing (Chomsky, 1971a; Clarke, 1988; International Reading Association, 1998; Wilde, 1996a, 1996b ), an increase in writing length (Chomsky, 1971 a; Wilde, 1992), and an increase in time spent writing (Chomsky, 1971a; Clarke, 1988; Forester, 1980, IRA, 1998). Inventive spelling also enhances children's development of phonemic awareness skills (Bear D.R., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S., & Johnston, F., 2004; Gentry, 1991; Griffith, 1991; Richgels, 1995; Silva & Alves-Martins, 2002; Tangel & Blachman, 1992) and reading skills and understanding (Bums & Richgels, 1989; Chomsky, 1971 a, 1971 b; Clarke, 1988; Ehri & Wilce, 1987; Mann, Tobin, & Wilson, 1987). By analyzing inventive spelling samples, appropriate instruction can be designed (Gentry, 2000; Gentry & Gillet, 1993; Scott, 1991; Snowball & Bolton, 1999). Specific guidelines for implementing inventive spelling most effectively in the classroom are provided.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Division of Literacy Education


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Date Original


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