#50 WORD WALLS
TT #10 Literacy Strategy - Trent Hoefler
Instructional Focus and Grade Levels
Grade Levels: PreK-Grade 2, 3-5, 6-8, and English Learners
Description of Word Walls
Why Use This Instructional Strategy
How To Use This Instructional Strategy
1. Prepare the word wall. Teachers prepare a blank word wall in the classroom from sheets of construction paper or butcher paper, dividing it into 12 to 24 boxes and labeling the boxes with letters of the alphabet. Make words accessible by putting them where every student can see them.
2. Introduce the word wall. Teachers introduce the word wall and write several key words on it before beginning to read. Try to include words that children most commonly
use in their writing.
3. Add words to the word wall. Students suggest "important" words for the word wall as they're reading a book or participating in thematic unit activities. Students and the teacher write the words in the alphabetized blocks, making sure to write large enough so that most students can see them. If a word is misspelled, it's corrected because students will be using the word in various activities. Sometimes the teacher adds a small picture or writes a synonym for a difficult word, puts a box around the root word, or writes the plural form or other related words nearby.
4. Use the word wall. Teachers use the word wall for a variety of vocabulary activities, and students refer to the word wall when they're writing. Use the word wall daily to practice words, incorporating a variety of activities such as chanting, snapping, cheering, clapping, tracing, word guessing games as well as writing them. Use content-area material from the curriculum rather than randomly selected words. Word walls should be referred to often so students come to understand and see their relevance.