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#3292. Word Wall - working with words

, level: all
Posted Fri Oct 21 07:55:33 PDT 2005 by KinderESL (
Johnston Elementary, Irving TX

• To help children learn to automatically recognize and spell high frequency words (word wall)
• To help children learn to look for patterns in words to help decode and
spell the less-frequent words that they have not been taught (decoding/phonics and spelling)
• This block of time is divided Into two sections
1. Word Wall activities - Intro new words and On-the-back activities to focus on new words (endings, rhymes, cross checking, mind reader)
2. Decoding and spelling activities - making words, rounding up the rhymes, guess the covered word, using words you know, the wheel, Wordo, being the words, reading & writing rhymes, nifty thrifty 50, brand name phonics

Clap, Chant, Write—Introduction of New Words
1. Teacher introduces 5 Word Wall words per week by having students:
* see the words
* say the words
* chant the words (snap, clap, stomp, cheer)
* write the words and check them together with the teacher
* trace around the words and check together with the teacher
2. Have the students number a sheet of paper 1-5.
3. Place one of the 5 new word cards in the pocket chart. Say the word, use the word in a sentence, have students write the word on their paper.
4. Continue with 4 additional words.
5. When all five words have been written, point to the words and have the students clap and chant the spelling of the words.
6. Students use a red pen, marker or crayon to trace around the word.
7. On the following 2 days of the week, teacher practices the new Word Wall words

1. Chant the words doing one of the chants
2. On pre-made master, have them print the word outlining structure of word.
3. Have them write the practice writing the word.
4. Have students cover the words, and write them in the third column.
5. They check their own words and circle any letters that are wrong, not the whole word.
6. Students write the word again on the back if any mistakes were made. (Teacher walks around and checks.)

Repeat either Monday or Tuesday Activities

Thursday and Friday
1. Do any word wall word. Number a sheet of paper 1 -5 or use a master.
2. Say the words one at a time using them in a sentence. The student writes the words as they are said.
3. When all 5 have been called, select a student to chant in some way the correct spelling of the word.
4. Students check their own papers and correct.
5. On the Back Activities are included at this point.

On-the-back - Endings
This activity helps children learn to spell Word Wall words that need an ending (suffix).
1. Students number their papers 1-5 on the back.
2. Teacher calls a word that can have an ending added to it. Begin with just one ending per lesson. Then add additional endings in separate lessons.
3. Then combine them so that children are listening for all the endings. *ING - Jump+ing, The frog is jumping over the log, jumping Student finds "jump" on the word wall and writes "jumping" on paper.
4. Ask what word wall word was used with an ending. Say the word and chant its spelling.
5. Continue in same manner with 4 additional words.
6. Teacher can choose to use 5 different words using the same ending or use one-two word wall (base) words and use multiple endings.
• Looks, looking, looked & eats, eating OR
• Looking, making, running, riding, swimming
7. Later in the year, include words that have tricky ending rules such as "drop the e", "change y to I", "double the last letter".

On-the-back – Rhymes
The teacher says a sentence that contains a word that rhymes with one of the new Word Wall words and is spelled with the same pattern. Children must decide which word rhymes and how to spell it.
1. Students number their paper 1-5.
2. The teacher gives the following clues for the lessons words. Examples:
• "I like to talk." The word begins with a t and rhymes with walk Student writes talk on paper
• "I have my book." The word begins with an m and rhymes with by Student writes my on paper
3. To check the answers, teacher says the rhyming word and lets students say the word they wrote and chant its spelling.

On-the-back - Cross Checking
1. Students number front and back of paper from 1-5.
2. Teacher calls out several words that begin with the same letter for students to write on the front of their paper, (e.g. went, want, was, what where)
3. Teacher tells students that they will have to decide which word from the front makes sense in each sentence.
4. Teacher reads a sentence but say BLANK where the word should go.
5. Students decides which word makes sense in the sentence and writes that word in the correct spot on the back. Examples:
• I __ll'"l to the beach.
It ____ very hot today. _____ do you want for lunch? _____ should we go first? I _____ to go home.

On-the-back - Be a Mind Reader
1. Students number their paper from 1-5.
2. The teacher can choose to focus on 1 word or 5.
3. If 1 word is focused on - the teacher gives 5 clues to the word.
• It's one of the words on the word wall.
• It has 4 letters.
• It begins with w-h
• The first vowel is e
• It begins the sentence: ___ will lunch be ready?
4. If 5 words are focused on, the teacher gives more specific clues.
• The first word I'm thinking of starts with w-h and begins the sentence: ___ will lunch be ready?
• The second word I'm thinking of is one of our new words and rhymes with hide.

On the Back Theme and Word Wall Words
This activity can be done monthly.
1. Use any theme board words that are up in the room.
2. Have the students turn over their paper and dictate 1 or 2 sentences that are made up of Word Wall Words and/or theme words.

Making Words
Moke Step: Choose the appropriate envelope and distribute the letters
inside to the children. Give step by step directions to make each word listed on the front of the envelope. ("Use 2 letters to make the word 'in'. Add one letter to make the word 'tin'. Change one letter to make 'fin'.") One child may demonstrate with the teacher's large letter cards in the pocket chart. After each word is made, display an index card with the word on it next to the same word made with the cards. Then put the index card word in the pocket chart for the next activity. Continue until all words are spelled. Finally, the students see if they can figure out the day's "secret word" using all of the letters.
Sort Step: Use the pocket chart to sort for patterns; including, number of
letters, rhymes, rimes, onsets, vowel sounds, etc.
Transfer Step: Hold up a card and say, "What if you were reading and
you didn't know this word? Which word would help you figure it out?" Repeat with several words. Then say, "What if you were writing and you didn't know how to spell —. Which word could help you figure out how to spell it?" Display the word under the correct pattern.

Opposite Riddles
1. Look for Word Wall Words that are opposites.
2. Number paper 1-5 and give them a riddle. ex. Word number one begins with the letter "p" and is the opposite of ugly.
3. Continue with 4 more riddles.

Guess the Covered Word
Write five sentences on the overhead. Cover up the vocabulary word with post it notes (one for the beginning letters, or onset and one for the rest of the word, or rime). In order to help with cross checking:
1. First have them guess the word with no letters showing. Write 5 reasonable guesses out to the side.
2. Uncover the onset and cross out any guesses that are eliminated. Make additional guesses if necessary.
3. Show the whole word and help children confirm which guess makes sense and has the right letters.
You can use your vocabulary transparencies from the curriculum for this activity. You can also Just write the letters as needed and call the game
"Guess the Missing Word!"

Hink Pinks
Hink Pinks are rhyming pairs. Children love to illustrate these and to make up and solve riddles for which they are the answers. These are good to make as class books.
EX. Drab / crab fake / snake broom / room
What do you call a goose out of its pen?
A loose goose. What do you get when your teacher gives you too much homework?
A brain strain.

Rounding Up the Rhymes
This activity is done with a book that has been read aloud by the teacher or the class which contains lots of rhyming words.
1. Read the book: focus on a few pages with lots of rhymes with the same pattern so that children will see the connection between rhyming words and the spelling pattern.
2. Round up the rhymes: As the children tell you the rhyming words, write them on index cards and put them in a pocket chart.
3. Remind children that words which rhyme usually have the same spelling pattern. Have a child come and underline the spelling pattern in each set of rhymes and then decide whether or not they are the same. Discard non-matching rhymes, (dear & here)
4. Use these words to read some other words. Write a word that rhymes and has the same spelling pattern as one of the rounded up pairs. Ask a child to put it with the words that have the same rime. THEN, read all three words together.
5. Next do the same for writing. Read a word aloud and have kids decide which pair could help them spell the new word. Use the rhymes to spell it.

Reading / Writing Rhymes
1. This activity is much like making word families. The teacher must distribute a pre-made set of onset (beginning letters) cards to the students. (Many will have 2 cards.)
2. The teacher writes the spelling pattern (rime) on the board, chart paper or puts into the pocket chart.
3. Students look at their onset cards and decide if it makes a real word. If so, they come to the board and try to make a word. If it is a real word, the teacher uses the word in a sentence and writes that word on the chart.
4. If the word isn't a real word, the teacher explains that. If the word is a real word but has a different spelling pattern, the teacher explains that and writes the word correctly in a special place (on another chart or in a different color).
5. The teacher then calls up children to make any missing words. "I think the person who has w-h should come up here and make a word we know."
6. If children can think up good longer words that rhyme and have the spelling pattern, the teacher adds them to the list as well.
7. The class then works together in a shared writing format to write a silly rhyme using lots of the rhyming words.
8. Then the children make their own rhymes. These can be made into a book.
Using Words You Know
1. Pick 3-4 words students know that also have many rhyming words with the same spelling patterns.
2. Using the board or the overhead, make 3 columns and write the key words across the top. Students copy it on their papers.
3. Verbalize the strategy to the students by saying, "If t-e-n is ten, the G-l-e-n must be GLEN." Write GLEN under the correct column.
4. Show the next word. Write it in the correct column and have students verbalize the strategy BEFORE pronouncing the word.
5. Show the children several words and have them use the known words to decode the new words.
6. Show the students how they can use the same strategy for spelling.
7. Say a word such as "shine" and have students write it in the correct
column. Have them verbalize how to spell it, "If nine is spelled n-l-n-e,
then shine must be s-h-i-n-e." *
8. For this lesson, you give the words to be spelled so that you know they will follow the pattern. Use a rhyming dictionary to help you plan.

The Wheel
This game is like Wheel of Fortune, with these differences:
• Contestants guess all letters without considering if they are consonants or vowels.
• They must have all letters filled in before they can say the word. (This encourages them to spell!)
• They will win tokens (tickets or whatever you choose) instead of prizes.
• Vanna will not be there to turn the letters!
1. Write a category on the board and draw blanks for each letter.
2. Choose a student to call out a letter.
3. Fill in each blank called and give the student a token for each time the letter occurs. Continue until the student misses.
4. Write the missed letter above the puzzle and go on.
5. Fill in all the letters before the students may guess.
6. Give 5 bonus tokens to the person who guesses correctly.

1. This game is like Hangman but without the hanging man.
2. Write a number in parenthesis to represent the number of letters in the word.
3. Then draw the same number of blanks. (5) _____
4. The teacher gives one clue to the word and then calls on students to try to guess the first letter of the word.
5. A correct guess is written on the blank. A wrong guess is written under that particular blank to keep track of incorrect letters.
6. For example: if the word is "where" - the teacher gives a clue and then calls on a student to guess. If the student guesses an "h" for the first letter, that wrong guess is written under the first blank.
7. Correct letters must be given in order so the students are focused on spelling.
8. No one may guess the word until all of the blanks are complete.

1. WORDO is a variation of Bingo.
2. Photocopy sheets with 9 or 16 blocks and give students chips or small pieces of paper to mark their boards.
3. Call on students to pick words from the wall to write on their WORDO sheets in a blank box of their choice.
4. You write it on an index card.
5. Shuffle the deck of cards and you're ready to play.
6. As you call out each word, chant the spelling together and mark your boards.

Making Sentences
1. Dictate a sentence using several of the word wall words: Josh will come to my house to play.
2. Students listen as you repeat the whole sentence.
3. Then repeat the sentence one word at a time, giving students plenty ot time to find the words on the word wail and write them.
4. Remind children to begin sentences with a capital letter.
5. Have days when you dictate questions and exclamatory sentences.
6. It's fun to use students names in the sentences. Students also like to dictate sentences using lots of words from the word wall.

Ruler Tap
1. Teacher chooses a word from the Word Wall.
2. Say the word, then tap and say several letters in that word but not the whole word: come, c-o
3. Call on a student to finish spelling the word out loud: m-e.
4. If the student correctly finishes spelling the word, that child gets to call out a word, tap and spell the word and call on another student to finish.
5. Do several additional words.
6. Variations of this activity could be, only the teacher having a ruler, all students having a ruler.

Word Sorts
1. Write 10-15 words on large index cards and place in a pocket chart.
2. Have students write these words on separate smaller cards or papers at their desks.
3. Have students sort the words into different piles depending on some features certain words share.
4. Students may sort all words that begin with a certain sound, have a certain vowel sound, or contain a certain blend or digraph.

Word Work
1. Teacher calls a word wall word; class chants and then writes word in first box on Word Work sheet (see appendix 3).
2. Continue with 4 additional words.
3. Student uses letter cards/tiles to build the word in the next space on the Word Work sheet.
4. Student uses a marker to write the word in the last space.
5. Continue with the 4 remaining words.

Build, Mix, Fix
1. Teacher calls 5 words from the word wall one at a time. Students chant and write on paper as teacher writes on board.
2. Teacher directs class to build the first word with letter tiles/cards at desk.
3. After all students have the word built, teacher directs class to Mix up the letters of the word.
4. Students are directed to fix the word by arranging the letters to spell the word.
5. Chant the word.
6. Continue with remaining words.

Word Search
1. Pass out a copy of the Word Search worksheet to each student (see appendix 4).
2. Teacher chooses 5 words from the word wall.
3. As teacher calls out word, students chant and write on blank at bottom of worksheet.
4. When all 5 words have been written, students place each word in the word search puzzle and add additional letters to fill in the boxes.
5. Trade Word Search puzzles.
6. When each word is found, trace around it with a colored pencil, pen or marker or use a highlighter to highlight the word found.

Flashlight Fun
1. Turn out the lights.
2. Say the poem together with the class: Flashlight, flashlight, oh so bright. Shine on a word with your light.
3. Shine the flashlight on individual words for the class to read and chant.

Let's Cheer
1. Choose 5 words from the word wall.
2. Print each letter boldly on paper for each word.
3. Cheerleaders face the class holding the letter papers to spell the word.
4. Call out the first letter of the word.
5. The student holding that letter steps forward and raises the letter paper as the class says the letter.
6. Continue until the entire word has been spelled.
7. Say the word 3 times in unison.
8. Take turns being cheerleaders and spelling the rest of the words.

Word Jar
1. When 5 new word wall words are introduced, write them on a slip of paper and add to Word Jar.
2. Choose 5 students to pick a word from the jar.
3. One student at a time reads their word, class chants the spelling.
4. Do additional words.

Rainbow Words
1. Pass out paper to each student.
2. Teacher chooses 5 word wall words.
3. As teacher says word, students chant and write on paper with a crayon.
4. Do the same for the additional words.
5. After all the words have been written once with a crayon, students go back and write each word again with 2 different colors of crayons.

Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check
1. Take a paper with three or four columns (see appendix 5).
2. Teacher calls out 5 word wall words. *
3. Students write the list of words in the first column.
4. Begin with the first word. SAY it and notice parts to remember.
5. LOOK closely at the letters to notice the visual details.
6. COVER the word with a card and think about how the word looks.
7. WRITE the word from memory.
8. Uncover and CHECK it with the word in the first column.
9. Cover and write the word again and check.
10. Do all five words

Word Fun Center
1. Teacher chooses 5 words from the word wall and writes them on the board.
2. Divide the students into 6 groups.
3. Each group is given a different center material to spell the words.

*painted lima beans
*letter tiles
*letter/object tray
*Wikki Sticks
*alphabet stamps
*magnetic letters

1. Make a hopscotch grid on the classroom tloor with tape, or on the playground with chalk.
2. Choose a word wall word and write one letter in each box ot the hopscotch and the whole word at the top.
3. Students hop and say each letter to spell the word and the say the word at the end.
4. Do for additional words.

Wet words
1. Teacher chooses 5 word wall words.
2. Say word to class and have them chant.
3. Write on individual chalkboard one letter at a time with paintbrush and water.
4. Continue with additional words.

Word Wall Chain
1. Pass out 5 colored strips of paper to each student size 1x5.
2. Have one student choose a word wall word and everyone writes and chants that word- each.
3. Call on another student to find a word wall word that starts with the last letter of the first word. Students write and chant it-each-her,
4. Call on additional students to continue finding words that start with the last letter of the previous word.
5. Glue the strips together to make a chain.

Spelling Grid
1. Use the overhead and a Spelling Grid sheet.
2. Teacher chooses a word from the word wall.
3. Teacher starts writing the word on the grid by writing the first letter of the word in the first box at the top.
4. Call on student to come up and write the first two letters in the boxes in the row below.
5. The next student writes the first three letters in the boxes below.
6. Continue until the word has been spelled.
7. Chant it.