Word Walls


By Mrs. Alphabet

I am using the wall concept to display categories: name wall where I display the children's name and outline the shape made by the letters in their name, rhyming wall where I feature a theme word a week and words that rhyme with this word for example: bear, dear, fear, etc. A logo wall that displays familiar labels and boxes that children would recognize, graph wall that models a question a week, my word wall depicts environmental print that children would easily recognize, an alphabet wall that arranges the children's name in alphabetical order, a calendar wall that incorporates calendar math and progressions to the 100th day of school, and a science wall that shows the yearly project we're working on.


By Lisa Zebley

When I begin to focus on the strategy of "chunking" in my first grade classroom, I use colored transparency film to highlight common word families ("--ike" in like). I had always told the children to use the words to help them spell words that rhymed with the word wall words, but this technique really helped them focus on the part of the word they needed to use.


By Paula Gehring

Use the word wall words to play word wall Bingo. Have the children use the back of an extra worksheet to make a tic tac toe grid (9 spaces). They then choose 9 words they know and write 1 word per grid. The teacher randomly calls words from the wall. The first player will all 9 words covered wins. Have the children call the words they covered back to you for extra practice. the game can be repeated several times.


By Sara Gladwell

I am using a word wall for the first time this year in my 1st and 2nd grade classroom. I am very fortunate to have 3 other adults for a half-hour every day to read with the different reading levels. One activity that each group is responsible for is learning 1 or 2 new words per week. Those words are then placed upon our word wall for reference. I am very excited and pleased with the results thus far!


By Mrs. Alphabet

A word wall is a visual display of words that is used to demonstrate a skill or concept that you are teaching your class. For example I have a name wall where I display the first name of all my students. I print the names, form a heavy line outline around the shape, and mount on different colored paper. This attractive visual display is available for the children to view randomly each school day. As we focus on a student name each day the name wall becomes more familiar and the children are drawn to examining the board more each day.
Other walls I am working on implementing are: rhyming, graph, logo, alphabet, etc.
If you are not lucky enough to have space you can be resourceful and use poster board, file folders, curtains, roll down blinds, piece of vinyl, etc.


By Susan Youngblut

Yes, we use word walls in our kindergarten program. It contains our basic 15 sight words and then 'holiday' words on a 'holiday' shape such as the word 'pumpkin' on a pumpkin shape. This way when the children 'write' in their journals or little books they can find the words they want very easily. This is the 4th year we've been doing this and it works great!

By Maureen Foster

I use a Word Wall in my Kindergarten class - and after we have a few words up there, we also use the wall for fun activies. i.e. Guess the Word....I give clues such as 1. It is on the wall. 2. It has 3 letters in it. 3. It rhymes with hat. 4. It is an animal. etc.
The kids write the word when they figure it out. They love it! also "Ready, Set, Spell" is a fun way to practice words...the children number 1 - 5, you say a word from the wall, they write it and then together we say ready, set, spell and we all spell the word.
I have a name word wall also the kids love seeing their names up, and copy friends and my name often!


By Sara

In my classroom we also utilize the word wall for calendar. We have made a giant circle out of butcher paper. It is about 6 feet in diameter. As the seasons progress we describe in detail important events in the months. In the center of this circle the four seasons are written, in a cyclical fashion. The circle is then divided into a 12 piece pie, at the edge of each piece of pie is a month, which is within its appropriate season. When we describe something that has happened we are sure to draw or locate a picture that illustrates what the words say.


By Mary Schaeffer

I have used a wall/window alphabet in my classroom for many years. Each letter of the alphabet has an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet (multi-colors). On the top left hand side of each sheet is a contrasting colored block with a letter's silhouette cut out. In the center of the cut-out I have printed the lowercase letter. (Ex.: write "b" in the middle of a butterfly shape/yellow background/contrasting color with shape cut out). As students ask how to spell words throughout the year, we tape word strips to the appropriate letter sheet. I strongly recommend using lower case letters--for reading prep. It can be very difficult to get children to stop writing those capital letters in the middle of words. Add science/holiday/unit words, etc.


By Genie Merrer

I use a word wall in Kindergarten. I introduce it in Jan. By the end of the year we have about 15-20 high frequency words on it. I also write it in an individual folder for each child to have when they leave. It has been extremely successful. Some K teachers at my school have already started theirs.


By Debbie Peasland

I use a word wall in my kindergarten class. I put it up in Sept. I have each child's name up. Next I added days of the week and months of the year (after we had practiced these each morning with our calendar activities). I have also added color words and a few words from Halloween and Thanksgiving. This is my first time using it in kdg.but I used it in first grade.


By Kathi

I teach a multiage K-1 class. We use WW and do an activity every day. The K kids have picked up many of the words on the wall although they are not required to learn them as the 1sts are. I may ask different questions, like what letter is at the beginning or end or whose name begins with this letter etc.


By Mary

Mary December 1998
I begin the year by putting all the Kindergarten
word wall words on the board. The children feel instant success with writing. We add new words each week, teaching alphabetical order (does the word fit at the beginning middle or end).
I wrote the words out, laminated them and cut them out in the shape of the letters. I used magnets on the back and our word wall is a chalkboard the words can be taken down by the children for use at their seats.

By Deb Rogers

I've used a word wall for several years in 1st grade and one activity we do each
week is locate words using this chant. (I didn't make it up, but I'm not sure where
I got it and who to credit.) I whisper a word in one student's ear who's holding a
pointer. It goes like this:
Find the word,
It is near.
Where's the word?
It's right here!(Student w/pointer points to it)
Say the word. (Class says word)
Clap the parts. (Clap syllables)
Tap the sounds. (Tap syllables)
What a start!
Time to spell,
Close each eye.
Do it now,
Don't be shy! (Class spells word w/eyes closed)
Say the word,
One more time.
Loud and clear, (Say word again)
Now let's cheer! (Everyone cheers)


By Marlene Cherry

I use the word wall idea in my Montessori class. We make lists of rhyming words or words with the same beginning sound (ie "ch")or lists of synonyms, etc. My list is on a chart board leaning along the wall so the children can go and sit in front of it on the floor and read the words as well as add to the list with an available marker.


By Shelley Boehmer

I use a WW in my first grade classroom. I sometimes change the order of the words as they become very familiar with the words. I also will take words down when I know they all know how to spell a word. That way the WW doesn't become overwhelming. Thank you for all the new ideas.


By Victoria McKee

I am a new Kindergarten teacher this year and I am using the WW in my classroom. I bring laminated sentence strips and a washable marker to circle time each Monday. We begin a Letter of the Week each Monday and the kids and I brainstorm words that begin with the letter (Sound). If we all agree that it is a good word, I work with the children on sounding the word out and I write it on the strip and cut it to size. My WW is a blank wall with EasyUp clips spaced sporadically on it. We usually keep around 15 words on the wall and when I take them down I place them in my "Typing Center" where I have my old electric typewriter. They love it!!



By Mrs. Alphabet

Portable word walls are fun too. Take a folder and let the children create their own personal word, name, or logo wall.


By Ann Harsh

I have used a "word tree" for several years in my kindergarten. I have a large (6 foot) tree (trunk and limbs only) attached to a wall. On the tree many Easy-clips are stuck. I use it for theme words, seasonal words and often used words in the journals. Some of the words change regularly such as the theme or seasonal words.


By Rhonda Davis

This is my 5th year to teach kindergarten.I have done something similar to word walls every year. Usually we use chart paper and I draw ...say a huge butterfly on it for the letter "Bb", and I have the children list words they can think of that begin with the letter "Bb". I do one for each letter of the alphabet weekly and we hang it outside our door for everyone to see. As the year progresses I have the students make up a story using the words in which I write on chart paper also...ex. (The baby named Bob played with the bouncing blue ball)....etc., the children love it. I've thought of a new idea this year. Each year I have my abc line posted low on the wall where the children can reach it. This year I am going to put words on laminated index cards under each letter and leave them for the remainder of the year. I will be adding to each letter weekly, that way the children will have access to the words all year. I will have to limit each letter to 10 words because of the limited space but am really looking forward to the outcome.


By Lori Rios

I have used a WW in grades 3-12 in its true form and it always works! Some of the ideas I read are great, but are more like "theme board" ideas than true word walls. If you are new to the concept, please read the work of Patricia Cunningham and Dottie Hall who are the true pioneers in the field. I suggest any of the Making Words and/or Phonics They Use books. QEP, INC. is a great source for ordering (800)323-6787.
Dr. Hall visited my classroom this past school year and was thrilled with the success I have had with second language learners and word walls. I encourage everyone to implement them, but please do some reading so you get maximum results!


By Mrs. Alphabet

Patricia Cunningham recommends Name Walls, Logo Walls, and Environmental Print for kindergarten students.

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