Skip to content
Start improving your work-life balance - try PlanBee for FREE for 7 days
Start improving your work-life balance - try PlanBee for FREE for 7 days

Look Say Cover Write Check

What is 'Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check'?

Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check is an effective way to help children learn spellings. It is commonly used in schools as one method to help children to learn their spellings and is often given out as a way of helping children practise spellings at home.

How does Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check work?

Children are typically given a Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check template which has a list of spelling words they need to learn in the first column. These may be common exception words, mis-spelt words identified in their writing or they may be words with a common spelling pattern they need to learn.

The idea of Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check is that the children take each spelling word in turn. First they will look at the word. The next step is to say it aloud so they can hear it. After that, they cover the word over with either their hand or a piece of paper. Then, they will try to write the word in the next column of the table. Finally, they check their spelling by either removing their hand or the piece of paper. This process can be repeated until children have successfully learnt the spelling.

How is Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check used?

Here are some possible ways in which the Look, Say, Cover, Write Check technique for learning spellings could be used:

- As a morning task when children come into the classroom before registration

-During spelling sessions as a way to provide practise for children in learning spellings

-As a homework task to support parents in helping children learn their spellings

What alternatives are there to Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check?

Schools use a range of different methods to help children learn their spellings. Here are some of the most popular ways to help children learn their spelling words:


1. Wordsearches: spelling words could be hidden in a wordsearch for children to find. If they are learning, for example, how to add +tion to root words, perhaps only the root words could be provided!

2. Hangman: playing a game of hangman on a whiteboard is also another popular way to help children memorise spellings.

3. Anagrams: children could be given anagrams of spelling words which they have to unscramble.

4. Spelling Art: draw an overlapping wiggly line with space in each section you create. Choose one word for each sentence and challenge children to write the word as many times as they can within each section.

5. Word rank: from a range of spelling words, ask children to rank them from what they think are the easiest to spell to the hardest. Try to identify why the words at the bottom are hardest and work on these first. Children could write them out, identifying the trickiest letters and making sure to write these letters larger than the others.

6. Silly sentences: make up silly sentences that use all the words from a given list of spellings. What’s the silliest sentence you can make?!

7. Table tennis spelling: in pairs, children to imagine they are playing table tennis but they bat letters instead of balls! They take it in turns to ping pong each letter in a word in order to each other until they have spelt the word between them.

Word lists for Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check

Common exception words are those words that children need to just learn and don't follow any particular spelling pattern. Each year group has a list of common exception words that children should learn. They can be used in Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check templates as a way to help children learn them. Click on the links below to download and print these word lists for free.

KS1 Common Exception Word Lists

KS2 Common Exception Word Lists

Free: Year 2 Spelling Words List

Free: KS1 Common Exception Words List (Years 1 and 2 included)

Free: KS2 Common Exception Word List (Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 included)