A word wall is an organized collection of words displayed in large letters on a classroom wall. The words on a word wall most often include words students encounter frequently in their reading and writing, as well as words they frequently misspell. For older elementary and middle school students, word walls often include curriculum-related vocabulary words as well. Word-wall words can be organized alphabetically, by theme (weather-related words, for example), or by spelling pattern. Most teachers add at least five words a week to their word walls on a regular basis; many more words are added spontaneously, as the need arises.
A word wall isn't simply a classroom decoration or a bulletin board display, however; it is a tool for students to use to improve their reading, spelling, and vocabulary skills. Nor is a word wall a static resource; many teachers incorporate specific word wall lessons and activities into their daily routines.
Word walls, teachers say, promote literacy by providing a print-rich environment and creating in students an excitement about words. Do you have a word wall in your classroom?
Learn More About Word Walls
The Education World articles below will help you create and use a word wall in your elementary or middle school classroom.
Teachers Say Word Walls Work
A word wall is not just a great primary-grade learning tool. Many elementary and middle schools require teachers to include word walls in their classrooms. In this article, teachers from grades pre-K to 8 share their word wall successes.
Word Wall "Active-ities" Build Vocabulary, Spelling, Writing Skills
A classroom word wall has many uses. A wide variety of activities and games can be used to help reinforce vocabulary words that appear on the wall. Included: Five activities shared by teachers who use word walls in their classrooms.
Word Wall Resource Page
Education World editors searched the Web for more word wall tips, lessons, activities. The teacher-created online resources we found will help you create an effective and dynamic word wall for your classroom.