At Little Ashford, we've found that one of the best, most creative ways for preschool children to learn words is though the use of a word wall.
What is a word wall?
A word wall is a group or collection of words that are displayed on a wall in large, visible letters. The words can also go on a bulletin board or poster board. The wall or board is placed in the classroom to be used as an interactive tool for students to refer to in order to find words that can be used for writing and that are used in reading material. This method is especially good to implement for teaching pre-primary school children to read and write.
Why Use a Word Wall?
Now that you know what a word wall is, you may be wondering why you should use one, or why your pre-primary school child’s teacher should use one. Or...why it would beneficial for both of you to use.
Word walls offer a “go to” for referencing. Your child can easily choose a word to place in a sentence to describe what he or she is wanting the sentence to achieve, or...to make a sentence silly. By switching words out, stories are formed and humor is gained.
Word walls spur imagination and creativity. They can be comprised of sight words, words that are frequently used within the setting the wall is in, and can be a mix of new words and words your child is familiar with. Pictures often accompany the words.
Word walls also allow children to see patterns within words and differences as well because they can easily compare them. Seeing a word on the wall helps a child check spelling too. As well, vocabularies are expanded by using a word wall.
How to Make a Word Wall
Designate a wall, bulletin board, or poster board to be the word wall. Choose the words you would like to focus on. You can add more words later. Print the words out or order pre-printed words. They can be printed with illustrations or graphic art or you can buy or print the pictures separately.
Organize the words as you would like for them to be on the wall. You might group certain words together, like rhyming words in one section or nouns in one group. You can even alphabetize them. There is no right or wrong way to create a word wall.
Apply the words and pictures (if you use pictures) onto the wall or board with glue, thumb tacks, or by whatever method you choose.
Introduce your child to the word wall with enthusiasm and immediately show them how to use it by doing an activity together. Make it fun and you’ll have a word wall that is worth more for you child’s literacy advancement than you ever dreamed possible. In fact, the skills your preschool child gains from the wall in a very short time will most likely leave you speechless - and that is worth a thousand words.