A Word Wall is a collection of words displayed in large visible letters on a wall, bulletin board, or other display surface in a classroom. It serves as an ongoing, organized display of key words that provides visual reference for students throughout a unit of study. Over the course of a unit, the number of words on the word wall should increase as students become more familiar with subject-specific terminology and concepts. A word wall should be referenced regularly by both educator and students.
- Find a suitable spot in the classroom to create the word wall such that all students are able to reference it. Write words in large black or dark-coloured letters. The more creative you can be with the design of the word wall, the more engaging it will likely be for students.
- Write the words that students will likely encounter frequently, those that are most relevant to the topic, and those generally understood by students first. Consider adding curriculum-related vocabulary early on as well. Words can be organized alphabetically, by topic, or by theme.
- Over time, add more words to the word wall. Some will be words you have predetermined are important to student learning, and others may be words that arose spontaneously through student discussion. Whenever possible, work together with students to determine which words should be included on the word wall.
- Reference the words regularly so students understand their relevance in relation to the larger ideas being taught.
- At the end of the unit, review all words and draw attention to important connections between them.
A word wall can increase students’ reading, spelling, and vocabulary skills as well as help students remember connections between words and concepts.
Word walls provide visual cues and are therefore especially helpful to students learning English as a second language.
The content in this section was sourced from: Education World. (2015). Word Walls [web page content]. Retrieved from: http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/strategy/strategy062.shtml#sthash.QKNfNTgS.dpuf