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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 101

Have you been thinking about adding a word wall to your classroom, but you're not sure where to beginwhat words to addhow to incorporate the wall into your curriculum? Don't miss Teachers Say Word Walls Work!, an Education World article in which primary, elementary, and middle school teachers describe how they use word walls across the curriculum.
Word Wall Activities

Find more word wall activity ideas -- and how-to resources -- on a special Word Wall Resource Page.

Ask any teacher who has had success using a word wall to build vocabulary and spelling skills and you'll likely hear the same explanation as that provided by middle-school staff developer Melba Smithwick: The key to success with word walls, said Smithwick, is to refer to them often, so students get in the habit of using the wall throughout the day, in all their assignments.

Teacher Patricia Allen has seen her students benefit from the word wall that has a prominent spot in her kindergarten classroom, but she sees an added benefit for herself as well: "In all honesty," Allen told Education World, "I like the word wall because it offers a visual reminder to me to expose my students to words throughout the day, not just at writing time or other isolated occasions."

Smithwick and Allen are among thousands of teachers who agree that word walls can be a great source of fun and active learning. A classroom word wall can spark an unending variety of activities. Here we've highlighted just a few


Click each of the five lesson headlines below for a complete teaching resource. (Appropriate grade levels for each lesson appear in parentheses.)

A fun game provides word recognition, vocabulary, and spelling practice. (Grades pre-K-8)

Erasing Relay
A fast-moving game provides practice in recognizing grade-appropriate vocabulary. (Grades pre-K-8)

Mind Reader
Students use clues to figure out the "mystery word." (Grades pre-K-8)

Hot Seat
A student in the "hot seat" asks questions to discern the secret word. (Grades pre-K-8)

Vocabulary Toss
Reinforce vocabulary with this game combining reading and basketball skills. (Grades pre-K-8)


See Education World Word Wall Resource Page.