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The children had a great time, as you can see from a small sample of their photos.


Click photo to find out more.




‘I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.’ —  Confucius.


Boston’s books on spelling explain and encourage the use of dress-ups in spelling lessons.

In 2008 her presentation at the Western Australian College of Teaching Mid-Year Seminar included photographs of children in dress-ups alongside relevant spelling rules.

In 2009 the Community Reading with Rules Dress-up Project was initiated and facilitated by Paquita Boston, with funding towards the costumes from her local council, the shire of Carnarvon.


Carnarvon children helped Mrs Boston prepare a dress-up guide for teachers to use when teaching spelling. They dressed up and acted out many of the stories behind the spelling.

All local primary schools received a kit of costumes, but teachers need training. Teachers everywhere are still not trained to give a logical and knowledgeable response to ‘Why is it spelt like that?’, nor to tell exciting stories about spelling.

The children had a great time, as you can see from a small sample of their photos.


Why is it spelt like that?

Why is it spelt like that?

Not every child will ask this question and very few will ask twice, unless the teacher can give a good answer. A reply like ‘English is a funny language — just learn it,’ will not encourage further curiosity.

I dream of making a free website which explains the spelling of each word at the press of a button. I’d like to think this could be funded by businesses which would be proud to buy advertising on such a portal. Our local Chamber of Commerce is just one of many business groups which have stated that education levels in many school leavers makes it impossible to employ them as apprentices.

If we taught maths the way we teach spelling we’d lose the respect of the entire class. We teach that 3 between just two other numbers always represents thirty. So when we teach that O between two other letters always represents the sound in LOT and HOT, unless it is between W and N, or S and N, or T and N, an intelligent child likes to know why.

In my spelling books I discuss the various effects ‘English is a funny language — just learn it,’ has on children, how it affects them differently, often very adversely. Teachers don’t get trained to answer spelling questions and so a website would fill the gap — would give our teachers the back-up they so dearly deserve to encourage curiosity and foster logical thinking in children everywhere.

All support for a website which will explain why a word, any word, is spelt like that, is welcome.

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