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Word Walls for Primary Grades

Compiled By: luv2teach77

Word walls can be very useful in the primary grade levels. In this collection you'll find several ideas to best utilize a word wall in your own classroom.

Word Wall
Posted by: carlie

Word Walls are awesome! I start mine with my students names (and my last name, my aide's last name, etc.) and our 25 high frequency words. (I add to the high frequency words as the year goes on, but leave the others up.) I do not put thematic words on my word wall. I like it to be a consistent place where they know they can find certain words.

Activities include echo reading -- I read, they read through the whole word wall.
"I spy" -- "I spy a word on the word wall with 3 letters." (Wait time while students locate a 3 letter word) "The word I see has 3 letters and starts with 't'" (They find it -- the) You can do this with more detailed clues depending on age level and readiness. It can also be done on paper too with students writing their guesses after each new clue was revealed.

We also read through the word wall, then read through a familiar poem and see if any of our word wall words are in there.
I point to words on the word wall that my students read to make sentences they finish with their own words. Example " I.... __________" I point to all the sight words & they read, then they finish the sentence. This helps them realize how many words they can use to make their own sentences when writing. We do "find a word on the word wall that rhymes with....."
There are tons of activities out there! Try a TCM book about Word Walls.

activity cards
Posted by: AddieJ

Here are some activity cards of things to do with the word wall. Put each idea on an index card, laminate & place on a binder ring and hang next to the word wall - great time fillers.
On word wall - first student names & then sight words as we learn them. Vocab words that go with our units are placed on a separate themed word wall (or bb) that changes as often as needed (usually every two weeks, depending on the unit.)
My kids also use personal dictionaries. When we add to the word wall the kids write the words in their dictionaries and when doing the vocab for the new unit, the kids write the words that they need in their dictionaries. The children can add any other words to their dictionaries they want or will use in their writing (calendar words, color words, map words, etc. - words they find other places in the classroom.) I never discourage them from reading & writing :D!

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Two Word Walls
Posted by: brett158

This year I am trying something a little bit different. I am going to have two "word walls".

Word Wall 1- This word wall will be called "Glue Words". This is where we will put our sight words (I use Fry's Instant Word Lists). I teach the students that these are the words that Glue together the sentence so we must memorize them. Each of the words are on Glue bottles that I made out of construction paper.

Word Wall 2- This word wall will be for word Families. I am calling it Chunk Words. I am going to have each of the short vowels on the wall. Underneath the corresponding short vowel I will introduce the word families as we learn them. ALSO, each word family will have an environmental print object to go with it. For example underneath the short vowel a will be -at (on a piece of cheese made from construction paper....chunk of cheese!). This piece of cheese will be attached to a KIT KAT wrapper with the at underlined with permanent marker. Then as a class we will come up with at words and our list will be posted underneath.

I hope that makes sense. In the past I had used the commercial word walls and I just found I wasnt using them enough and neither were the kids. This way I can pick the words they need to know and it will correlate directly with our lessons!!

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Word Wall for 1st/2nd Split
Posted by: KW

I taught a 1st/2nd split last year. You really don't need two (high frequency)word walls. You'll find the first just going over to the second to find words anyway. Begin the year adding names and beginning sight words. The 2nds will benefit from the review. If you utillize the word wall correctly, by the time you add the harder 2nd grade words, the 1st graders will benefit from them as well. Just make sure you either add the words in context (for instance, when you are dong shared writiing and you come across a word..."how would we spell BECAUSE? Let's add it to the word wall.) or add small groups (5 at a time) and introduce them well, play games with them, etc. (Patricia Cunningham has great WW activities).

Start one word family wall. The 1sts will begin by adding simple families (at, ap...)Again, the 2nds will need the review, just make sure you add words that have blends...have them figure those out (clap, slap...)Add the more difficult 2nd grade families (I found there were only a few we added in 2nd that we didn't cover in 1st)but make sure to play with those families later when its appropriate for the 1st graders (ie long vowel word families -ate, -ike). Second graders will review these early in the year, 1st graders will learn them later. I make my word family list on big pieces of 12x18 construction paper with a picture clue at top (ie cake for -ake words). When I teach it to the 1sts, I can just pull down that whole family. Sometimes, we even make a new one and put it up instead. You'll be amazed though, what the 1st graders will pick up from the 2nd graders. Good Luck.

"Center time for Word Wall"
Posted by: Jen

In the past I have used the word wall as a center. During this time the students sort the words according to syllables, use them in sentences or poems, illustrate the words, etc. There is a poster I bought from a teacher store which also listed activities (similiar to the ones I listed above) to use with the word wall. After awhile though, the students become uninterested with this center and behavior problems arise. I am looking for other activities to include in this center. Any suggestions would be so helpful!

word wall switch
Posted by: J

Every year I have introduced 5 new word wall words each week and add them to the word wall at the end of the week(word wall growing week after week). Last year we read some where??? that we should leave all the words up all year round. Why keep them a secret?? We take down the 5 for the week and place them on the easel(closer to the students) and do activities with those special 5. At the end of the week we place them back on the WWW and get 5 new words to intro. The best thing we did at the end of the year was leave them up over the summer and cover them. What a go back last week with one less thing to do. I just pulled off the cover paper and all my ww were there ready for a new year. Hope that helps!

word walls
Posted by: BookMuncher

I've found that making my word wall with my students works best for me. The commercial ones are very nice and I know a lot of people like them, but I like the ownership that comes with making it together. I use the large size of post-it's- different colors. I introduce 5 words a week. I tell the word and write it in front of the students- vowels in red, consonants in blue. Depending on what they already know, we'll underline a word chunk or blend. Sometimes I draw a little picture to help them remember. Whatever works for that particular group of students at that time. Like bertie, I do very short activities with the words each day (5 min. max) and post them on the word wall with the kids watching at the beginninng of the next week.

Don't forget that once a group of words is up, you still need to encourage word wall use. Cross-referencing is a tricky skill for children. I play different games on Fridays that require children to scan their eyes over the words and familiarize them with the location of words.

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Word Wall in First Grade
Posted by: kbbteacher

I put my word wall words on velcro, so that students can take the word from the wall and use it at their seat. Our first grade team does [this]:

Each week we have 5 new words and each day of the week is a diff. activity:

Monday- we introduce the words and put them in ABC order

Tuesday- Rhyme Time- I say "the word wall word I am thinking of rhymes with...."

Wednesday- Secret Sentence- I make up a sentence for each word (I try to make a story) and they have to fill the appropriate word in the blank

Thursday- Hot Seat- I pick a student to sit in the hot seat in front of the other children. The students are in charge of giving 3 clues for the chosen word wall word. This is good recall for the children, but I have also let the hot seat student have the words in front of them to help decide what the word is

Friday- Mystery Word- this is like hot seat but I am giving the clues to the class

We always clap and chant as a review before we start these activities...

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No title
Posted by: ily

I do sometime of wordwall activity everyday here are a few I use.

1) Tune of If you're happy and you know it
If you're reading and you know it find the word
If you're reading and you know it find the word
If you're reading and you know it and you really want to show it
If you're reading and you know it find the word.

2)Hand out word cards to children (I give several children the same word)
tune Are you sleeping
Where's the word
where's the word
Here it is, here it is (children with that word sing and hold it up)
Can you say the word today
____ (children say the word)
Can you spell the word today
(children with the word spell it

3)I'm thinking of a word that starts with "c" and rhymes with man

4) Turn off lights give a child a flashlight they flash a word and the rest of the class reads it and spells it.

5) On white boards I say a word and the children wirte it down as fast as they can and hold up white board.

6) Quick wordo
Each child writes 5 words on whilte board or paper, children take turns calling out words from their list and anyone who has that word can check it off

7) choose a word or have children choose a word (you may want to say number of letters.
Then set a timer for a min and have children see how many times they can write the word in that time (or they could see how many words they could write in that time) then give them a graph and they can colour in that many spaces. Keep graph and try next time to beat the old time.

8) Hand out letter cards to each child, then say a word and the chidren with the letters in that word stand up and arrange themselves to make that word then the rest of the class reads it and spells it.

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just one more game
Posted by: Bertie

We hand out cards on string, or words on wide masking tape. That becomes their "name" for the reading period. You have to call them by that name, and they call each other by the new name as well. Have as many duplicates as you want, or put in some review words too.

You could also sing this to the tune of Wheels on the Bus.
"If your word is "all " then please stand up, please stand up. please stand up. If your word is "all" then please stand up, now sit back down". Do again with each of the new words.

We play "BUZZ" where the new words are on cards at the front of the room, I have a word in my mind and they come up one at a time to point to and say the word they think is mine. The one who guesses right gets the next turn, but has to whisper his word in my ear first (so he doesn't change his mind") while the rest of the class hums Buzzzzzzz (so they don't hear his whisper). Play til you're out of time.

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No title
Posted by: rayita

I just finished reading a book on word walls. What a coincidence. I am going to try what I read starting on Monday. The book is called: Making Word Walls Work by Judy Lynch from Scholastic.

Anyway, It goes something like this. Monday (10-15 min) introduce 3-5 words. 1. Present one word at a time. 2. Have the students "Clap It" "Slap It" or "Snap It" (students clap, snap, or slap each letter of the word. One word at a time). 3. Write It. The student writes the word. Do this until all words for the week have been introduced.

Tuesday (10-15 min): Repeat the process from the day before, but in a different order.

Wednesday (10-15 min): Add new words to the word wall (make it fun)

Wednesday-Friday: Then review all words from word wall. Read the word wall words(3-5 min) Using pointers or flashlights point to a word and have students read the word. They can write the word (7-10 min) Locate the word, Clap, Snap, or Slap the word, and Write the word.

The book goes on to what you can do the second week. I reccommend it.

Hope this helps. Good Luck!

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Word Wall
Posted by: Dhorton

I put words on the word wall that students frequently misspell. I also allow them to find "fantastic" words during their independent reading time. Usually these are longer words the students find or simply an interesting word they come across. I usually have three students share each day. We look up the words, talk about them, and then the next morning they will find one of them posted on the wall. This really builds up their vocabulary and I notice some of them trying to use the words in their writing.

Each day we read over the list of words together and I ask them various questions afterwards like...

Which word means....?
Which word has a prefix which means...?
Which word is a synonym of....?


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wall words monthly
Posted by: seashell

I used these words with another K teacher.

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