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How to spell ‘friend’

By cryotosensei | diaperfinancingfund | 26 Feb 2023

I see you raise your eyebrows. Yes, ‘friend’ looks innocuous enough but it’s actually one of the top 100 misspelt words by elementary school students. Maybe the reason is that it’s a non-phonetic sight word and hence, must be memorised. Some of my students often misspell it as ‘friend’.

Thankfully, there are many ways to remember the spelling of ‘friend’.

1) One could use the word-within-word trick and pick up ‘Fri’ and ‘end’. He could come up with something like Friday is the end of the school week, so I’m ready to meet my friends. 

2) If the person with dyslexia is a visual person, he could picture ‘r’ and ‘i’ as human figures. My ex-student who is adept at designing created this for me upon request:

3) If the person is musically inclined, he could listen to “Friends” by Anne-Marie and Marshmello. They spell this word in the song, so he could sing the chorus and leverage the rhythm as an anchor to retrieve its spelling. 

4) Or he could draw an outline of ‘friend’ and associate it with a striking image. To me, the visual shape of ‘friend’ resembles a camel with two humps. So this will remind me to space out the ‘f’ and ‘i’.

When my students have mastered the spelling of ‘friend’, I want to expose them to prefixes and suffixes by giving them a list of words that are related to it. Here’s the material that I prepared on Canva:


I actually learnt ‘defriend’ through this process. Apparently, it means ‘to remove someone from your social media platform’. Anyway, I think I lucked out. Some people with dyslexia have difficulty distinguishing between ‘b’ and ‘d’. ‘Friend’ allows for the addition of both prefixes ‘be-‘ and ‘de-‘, so it would be a good opportunity for me to remind certain students that they form a ‘b’ with their left hand and a ‘d’ with their right hand. 

Prior to this, I have been focusing on one suffix at any one time. This is the first time that I will be juggling so many suffixes at once. Can’t wait to see how this lesson will turn out.


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