ELLM/Plus Word Walls
Word Wall Research and References (PDF 766 KB)
Word Wall Sample Activities (PDF 25KB)
Word Wall Web Sites
The 5 Ws of Word Walls
Each ELLM/Plus classroom has a Word Wall that is an interactive tool used by teachers and by children.
For young learners, a Word Wall is an alphabetically arranged collection of words with pictures used as a resource to help children gain automaticity and fluency in working with letters and words.
Word Walls are used in ELLM/Plus classrooms every day, starting on the first day of school.
Word Walls are most effective when they are placed at children’s eye level, where the words can be easily seen and used by the children (near the whole–group area, Teaching Table, or Writing Center).
We use Word Walls with young learners because they provide an interactive learning tool for teachers and children to use throughout each day. Word Walls…
- Encourage the introduction of new words.
- Show the importance of letters and words.
- Promote letter and sound recognition.
- Provide ongoing support for learners at differing levels.
- Develop independence in learning.
- Create authentic learning using words from stories being read.
- Supply a familiar list of words that become part of children’s speaking, reading, and writing vocabularies.
- Scaffold children as they begin reading and writing independently.
Questions About Word Walls
- The alphabet will be displayed in alphabetical order, with uppercase and lowercase letters together. Most ELLM/Plus classrooms use the Word Wall Header Cards because they also display the picture of each object named in Come Along, Sing the Alphabet Song.
- No word cards will be on the Word Wall on the first day.
- Sing Come Along, Sing the Alphabet Song a few times with the children on the first day of school, pointing to each letter on the Word Wall with a pointer as you sing. This will introduce the song and teach your class that the Word Wall is arranged in alphabetical order.
- After the class has sung the song a few times, begin adding children’s names and pictures, reviewing the first letters in the children’s names.
- Write children’s first names on index cards and place a picture beside each name.
- Begin adding children’s names to the Word Wall on the first day of school.
- As soon as children’s names are on the wall, begin posting additional word cards.
- Besides selecting Word Wall cards and Vocabulary and Concept cards from the ELLM/Plus instructional packets to add to your wall, you may want to add color words, numerals, or shape words that you introduce to your class.
- Select one or two name cards to add to the Word Wall each day.
- Help children identify the child in the picture, and the letters in the name on each card.
- Letter Count – Count the number of letters in the name as a group.
- Cheerleading – Create a cheer for the name with a motion for each letter.
- Comprehension – Have the class wave to the child as they say the name.
- Add the name card to the Word Wall.
- Talk with the children about new words. Discuss how the word looks, sounds, and how it compares
to other words on the wall.
- Complete the following activities:
- Letter Count – Count the number of letters in the word as a group.
- Cheerleading – Create a cheer for the word with a motion for each letter.
- Comprehension – Have the class wave to the child as they say the name or word.
- Add the card to the Word Wall.
- Recognition of pictures, letters, sounds, words, rhyming words, and spelling patterns
- Concept of word
- Syllable segmentation
- Spoken words can be written
- Print has meaning
- Alphabetical order
- Spelling patterns
- Shortage of space – words that children are no longer discussing or using in their writing can be removed from the Word Wall to make room for new words
- To allow children to focus on new words
- To create portable Word Walls or posters
- To develop thematic or seasonal Word Walls
- To develop an environmental print Word Wall
Sample of Word Wall