How to Set Up a Sound Wall in Your Classroom


A sound wall is an invaluable tool for educators to help their students learn and understand phonics and the different ways that sounds are represented in letters. By displaying different letter-sound combinations on a classroom wall, students can easily reference them during reading and writing activities. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to set up a sound wall in your classroom.

Step 1: Choose a Space

Find a suitable space on one of your classroom walls, ideally near the front of the room and easily visible to all students. Ensure that there is enough room for all of the various letter-sound combinations you wish to display.

Step 2: Gather Materials

Materials you will need for your sound wall include:

– Posterboard or cardstock paper

– Scissors

– Markers or colored pencils

– Tape or adhesive strips

In addition, gather materials that showcase examples of each letter sound, such as pictures, word cards, or student-created visuals.

Step 3: Organize the Sounds

Instead of organizing the letters alphabetically, organize them based on their phonetic sounds. For instance, arrange consonants by manner (such as stops and fricatives) and place (such as bilabial or dental). Arrange vowels according to their articulation (long or short) and quality (tense or lax).

Step 4: Create Visuals

For each letter-sound combination, create a visual representation on cardstock paper. Be sure to use large and clear print so that students can easily see them from their desks. Include related sounds for each visual; for instance, write “c” with both hard /k/ and soft /s/ pronunciation examples.

Step 5: Add Examples

Next to each visual representation, attach examples of words containing that specific letter sound. You can either print out pictures of objects or have students create their own visuals to represent words. By doing so, you will help students associate the letter sound with real-life examples and improve their understanding of phonics.

Step 6: Display the Sound Wall

Once you have created all of your visuals and gathered examples, display them on the chosen wall space using tape or adhesive strips. Ensure that the arrangement is logical and easy to follow, allowing students to use it as a reference during lessons.

Step 7: Teach and Refer to the Sound Wall

Introduce the sound wall to your class and explain how it works. Encourage students to refer to the sound wall during reading and writing activities, especially when they are unsure about a particular letter sound. Regularly review the sounds on the wall with your class to reinforce learning.


Setting up a sound wall in your classroom can significantly enhance your students’ phonics skills and overall literacy development. Although it may take some time to assemble, the benefits of this learning tool are well worth the effort. By following these steps and consistently incorporating the sound wall into your lessons, you can create an engaging and supportive learning environment for your students.

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