Words are the foundation of knowledge, and there is no better way to enrich our students’ vocabulary than by surrounding them with words using a word wall.
A word wall is an ongoing and interactive display of key words that provides a visual reference for students throughout a unit of study. Here are some ideas to make a word wall work for you and your student.
Choose words that a student is currently learning about in his reading or other subject areas. Many of these words can be found and highlighted in the Calvert Lesson Manuals and textbooks. If the words are unrelated to the lessons, they are likely to be overlooked and forgotten.
Learning potential increases when student-generated material and visual supports (pictures) are also included in the word wall. This is easily accomplished by having students find, draw, or color pictures that represent the word.
If you don’t have adequate wall space, or prefer not to attach things directly to your walls, consider a three-panel display board. This also allows for older boards to be kept for review as new boards are created.
Use and reference your word wall in daily activities. Try using the words on the wall to play a game of word bingo or to complete a word scramble.
Finally, there is no right way to build a word wall. Create and organize your walls in ways that you see will be useful for you and your student. Be creative, trust your observations, and don’t be afraid to change it up for the next unit.
For more word wall ideas, check out Calvert’s Word Wall Pinterest board.