A word wall is an organized collection of words displayed on a wall, bulletin board, or other large space. To use a word wall effectively:

  • Practice prerequisite decoding skills. Teach rhyming, identifying initial sounds, and letter-sound relationships (came/same have the same middle and ending letters).

  • Introduce five sight words each week. Start with one-syllable base words with frequently occurring spelling patterns (end, and, but).

  • Print words in large type on colored paper. Use different colored paper for each spelling pattern.

  • Arrange words in alphabetical order as you add them.

  • Use a multisensory approach. Write the word, pronounce it, chant it, clap it, drum it, etc.

  • Review old words as you add new ones.

  • Present a new word without saying it. Let students find a rhyming word on the wall.

  • Ask students to eventually decode words “in their heads”—without looking at the wall.

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