School-Based Intervention Idea from


Spelling: Leverage the Power of Memory Through Cover-Copy-Compare  (Murphy, Hern, Williams, & McLaughlin, 1990)

Students increase their spelling knowledge by copying a spelling word from a correct model and then recopying the same word from memory.

Give students a list of 10-20 spelling words, an index card, and a blank sheet of paper. For each word on the spelling list, the student (1) copies the spelling list item onto a sheet of paper, (2) covers the newly copied word with the index card, (3) writes the spelling word again on the sheet (spelling it from memory), and (4) uncovers the copied word and checks to ensure that the word copied from memory is spelled correctly. If that word is spelled incorrectly, the student repeats the sequence above until the word copied from memory is spelled correctly--then moves to the next word on the spelling list.


Murphy, J., Hern, C., Williams, R., & McLaughlin, T. (1990). The effects of the copy, cover, and compare approach in increasing spelling accuracy with learning disabled students. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 15, 378-386.

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