Remembering whether to use lose or loose is something I still sometimes have problems with. The spelling doesn’t quite match with the pronunciation so even as an adult it sometimes takes a moment to remember which is which. I find the easiest way to consistently pick the right one is to find a phrase that helps you remember. Phrases that rhyme can often be the most helpful so I tend to go with the phrase ‘loosey-goosey’ to remind myself that ‘loose’ has two ‘o’s like in ‘goose’.

Rhyming exercises are an excellent way to help your students find a phrase that jogs their memory. Rhymezone is excellent for finding rhymes for words. Give your students a list of words that could rhyme with lose or loose and get them to write them out in the correct column under the word they rhyme with. As well as writing and spelling practice, this will help them solidify the sounds of the words in their heads.

If you want to have a little competition, you could skip the research and ask your students to come up with their own lists of rhymes to see who has the longest.

Rhyming Go Fish is another fun way to practice rhyming words that expands the exercise to other spelling words they might be learning at the moment. You can create your own deck of cards or find vocab flash cards online for students of different ages. Rhyming Go Fish is played just like regular Go Fish except instead of asking another player if they have a five, you ask if they have a word that rhymes with ‘mouse’. Students then pair up the rhyming words until all of the cards are gone. Just like in the original, the player with the most cards at the end wins.

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