The Allographs I Dictionary is a unique sound-based dictionary in which words containing a particular sound are listed under each of the spelling alternatives for that sound. It contains over 3,000 words. Words are set out in alphabetical order down and across the page. Students can see at a glance which sound is easy or difficult to spell. The sound /a/ has only one spelling (cat); the sound /ee/ has 10 (be, seem, dream, lucky, donkey, believe, deceive, serene, radio, marine.) Lessons direct students to search for common patterns in these spelling alternatives which will make them memorable.
With practice, students can easily "look up sounds to spell." This is in contrast to a conventional dictionary where you have to know the spelling before you can look up a word. This means the Dictionary not only links to a useful set of exercises, but allows students to be able to check their own spelling during creative writing.