Word Wall Activities
A Very Useful Tool For Teachers!!
Word wall activities can be a very useful tool to use in the primary grades since a lot of them have a word wall in their classroom. However, wall activities can be utilized in junior grades as well.
Most grade one teachers have a word wall up in their classroom, words from A -> Z, so that their students can learn the basic words for writing simple sentences, progressing to writing stories by the end of the year.
These teachers add words to the wall as the year progresses. Their students' vocabulary expands and their sentences and stories become more interesting and detailed.
In grades 2 and 3, some teachers may have a different version of the word wall. One of the wall activities that these teachers can create are rhyming word wall. For example, you can have your students think of words that end with the same letters and all they change is the first or second letters. For instance, words ending in all - ball,hall, stall, or ike - bike,hike, spike.
In groups, your students have to think of as many rhyming words as they can and then present them to the class.
Afterward, on large index cards (5" x7"), print the ending letters, e.g. "all" or "ike" and underneath in a column on smaller index cards (3" x 5") print the words your students made up, e.g. ball, hall, stall or bike, hike, spike.
You and your students can add to the lists throughout the year. Being visible on the wall or board, increases their vocabulary and creates more extensive stories.
I was told of a wonderful idea that a grade 4 teacher created in her class for word wall activities. She took 26 library pockets and labeled each one beautifully with a letter of the alphabet, an individual pocket for each letter. The envelopes were placed for easy access on one of the classroom walls.
When a student didn't know how to spell a word, the teacher would print the word on an index card and place the index card in the appropriate envelope.
In the future when a student didn't know the spelling of a word, he/she would first go to the word wall and look in the appropriate envelope. If the word wasn't there, the teacher would create a new index card for that word.
Believe it or not, many schools do not have a big enough budget to purchase class dictionaries (which is a shame)! This is a great solution and a wonderful idea for word wall activities.
Other suggestions for word wall activities could incorporate other subjects that are taught in your class. Be sure to read my page on
Math word wall
activities. It really doesn't matter the grade you teach - you can create wall activities for other subjects (such as Science, Social Studies and even Music) or units.
For instance - Science = "Simple Machines" - each term, wedge, pulley, etc. has a definition and a picture. Or Social Studies = "Medieval Times" - moat, lord, etc.
Another fun word wall activity is to have your students write (in their own words) a definition of a term and draw their own picture. Or if other words come up while you're teaching a unit, have the students write the word, definition and draw a picture.These words can also be incorporated in their weekly spelling list (cover the words during dictation).
In Language/Literacy, your students have to write a story, e.g. " The Day in the Life of the Lord of the Manor". Throughout the story, the students have to use the words on the Social Studies word wall.
Using Art, students have to draw a picture/scene and include the words on the wall.
In one class a teacher created a music word wall with the various notes - 1/4, 1/2, whole, rest. One of the other word wall activities, was to write a group song using all the notes. Afterward they had to teach the song to the rest of the class. Her students had a blast with that activity..
Continually brainstorm either by yourself, with a grade partner or even with your students. It is amazing how many ideas for word wall activities you can come up with and incorporate into your teaching.
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