Word Wall: Everything You Need to Know

This is a big surface for learners to post words they see a lot during the course of engaging with a material—reading or writing. A bulletin board, wall, or any other display surface in a classroom can be used as a word wall.

There are various reasons to encourage the use of word walls. First, they provide the students with a permanent model for words that are often used. Second, they help students notice relationships and patterns in words, thus building and improving their spelling and phonics skills. Word walls also offer reference support for students during their reading and writing activities.

To use a word wall optimally, teachers should make it accessible and position it where each student can see the words. It’s wise to use bold and large letters for the words and put them on different background colors to help students distinguish words that frequently create confusion.

Ideally, students and teachers should work together to decide which words would be put up on the word wall. Choosing words most commonly used by students in their reading and writing would be a good way to begin. Gradually, new words should be added to the word wall. For a slow and steady start, the goal could be adding five words each week. Teachers should encourage the daily use of the word wall to practice words. 

This can be done by incorporating different activities, such as tracing, chanting, cheering, word guessing games, snapping, clapping, and even writing the words down. The teachers should let the students have adequate practice to ensure they read and spell the words correctly and automatically. It’s important to make sure the words from the word wall are always spelled correctly in the student’s daily reading and writing tasks.

Instead of choosing and putting up randomly selected words on the word wall, it’s better to select words from the curriculum’s content. When these words are referred to often, students will be able to understand them better and even notice their relevance.

Word walls don’t just work for languages. Even subjects like mathematics can benefit from a word wall that provides visual cues, graphic representation, mathematical concepts, number sense, etc. For example, multiplication on a word wall can be displayed by different symbols like *, x, and ( ). Even in science, interactive word walls can help students categorize things from the smallest to largest or vice versa (bacteria, cell, tissue, etc.) or create connections (say, organs are made of tissues and tissues are made of cells).

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