Elementary Word Wall Activities and Resources
- Use four steps:
1. Write the word
2. Define the word
3. Find synonyms
4. Find antonyms.
- Use the Lexicon Resource to select and complete a specific number of the 31 activities listed. Consider allowing learners to choose.
- General Lexicon Elements – based on Marzano’s Six Steps
Complete at least three.
- Write the word.
- What do you notice about the word?
1. # of letters
2. # of consonants, vowels
- Create a math problem with the #’s.
- Count the number of syllables.
- Define the word.
- Draw a picture representing the word.
Activity #3: The Vocabulary Rap
Find your word and step it out.
Color code what it’s all about.
Blend it, say it, make it complete
Repeat it together, don’t skip a beat.
What’s our word?
Say it again.
Now let’s clap it.
Now let’s stomp it.
Now let’s whisper it.
Now let’s spell it.
Using identified words engage the learners in doing the Hand Jive.
- Pair learners up.
- Learners clap hands together for consonants and lap clap for vowels.
Put hands in the air at the end as you say the word.
Create Word cards that may be cut in half. (See Template) Preprint or have learners write selected vocabulary on the cards. Precut or have learners cut. Collect and distribute randomly. Have learners find the other half of their word card. Have pairs line up and share their word with the group.
Using classroom vocabulary words learners will stand and extend arms upward for consonants and do leg lifts for vowels.
Mexican Hat Dance
Move feet alternately back and forth in front.
Tell learners to:
- Pretend a chalkboard is in front of you.
- Write each letter on the chalkboard. Make the letters large.
- When you are finished with each word you can pretend to erase it.
- Hint: If teacher is leading from the front of the room he/she will have to form letters backwards.
- Pretend to be lifting weights, one rep for each letter. You must strain to get each letter up.
- Pretend to mount the barbell on the stand and sound exhausted as you say the word at the end.
Activity #10: Surfin' & Spellin'
- Start out by getting on a surf board,
Let's go spellin'
Everybody's learning now
Come and spell it with me!
Then while we're surfing we say the letters of the word!
Activity #11: - TIRED WORDS!
Learners create an ongoing Word Wall with synonyms for overused words.
1. Brainstorm commonly overused words such as good, bad, said, happy,
pretty, saw, big, nice, little, etc.
2. Make a display with pockets for each word. Have learners find and write
synonyms on slips provided that may be put in the appropriate pocket.
This is ongoing and words may be added throughout the year.
3. Direct learners to use the Word Wall to find synonyms that fit into their
writing or speaking.
Learners participate in creating a word wall by finding words, filling out a Learner Word Wall Form and adding it to the Word Wall. The words may be related to a specific book or content area.
Learner Word Wall Form - Click on link for printable document. If you are using the form on your SmartBoard or iPad, the dictionary links are active to access the online resources in English and foreign languages.
This may be used to create a vocabulary lexicon resource on iPads, Notebooks, etc.
Interactive Word Wall Activities:
Teacher selects a word on the wall and gives five clues to that word.
- For each mystery word have learners number their paper 1-5. Tell them that you are going to see who can read your mind and figure out which of the words is the mystery word. Tell them you will give them five clues. After each clue they are to write the word they think it is by that clue number. By the fifth clue, everyone should guess your word, but if they read your mind, they might get it before the fifth clue.
- For your first clue, always give the same clue:
“It’s one of the words on the word wall.”
- Learners should write the word they think it might be next to number one.
- The second clue is:
It has # of letters.
- Student writes word.
- The third clue is:
It begins with a ____________. ( e.g. a digraph ph.)
- Student writes word
- The fourth clue is:
It has a ___________sound. ( e.g. short e vowel)
- Student writes the word.
- The fifth clue is:
It begins the sentence: (e.g. ________will lunch be ready?) Word: When
- “I know you all have word next to number 5, what is it? But who has it next to number 4?, 3?, 2?, 1?” Some learners will have read your mind and be excited to have ‘read your mind’ so quickly.
After you do several words and learners get familiar with this activity, allow them to be the one giving the clues.
- MIss Alaineus by Debra Frasier 11:12 min. video
Debra Frasier website about MIss Alaineus
HOST A VOCABULARY PARADE! - Debra Frasier - Complete plans for a vocabulary parade
Learning to Learn with Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster ... - OVERVIEW
After a read-aloud of the picture book Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster, students combine vocabulary exploration with word play by planning their own vocabulary parade, modeled on the activities in the text. Students brainstorm a list of vocabulary terms from a recent unit of study and then design concrete ways to illustrate the terms. The presentation of terms can be in the form of a parade (an appropriate substitute for Halloween activities), or a video, which might play during parent conferences or open house.
- Donavan's Word Jar by Monalisa DeGross – video 21:09 min. Grades 2-5
Donavan is fascinated by words. They seem to leap out at him from books, signs, even the back of cereal boxes. He savors each word as he learns to say it and discovers its meaning. He keeps the words he collects on slips of paper in a big glass jar. But one day the jar is almost full and Donavan has a dilemma. How can he make room for new words without giving up all the terrific words already in his jar? A visit to his grandmother provides the unexpected solution in this heartwarming story about how important words can be.
Donavan's Word Jar" by Monalisa DeGross - Vocabulary for all chapters of book
"Donavan's Word Jar" - Scholastic link
- "The Boy Who Loved Words" by Roni Schotter Video 12:34 min. PreK-3 Storybook about boy who loves to collect words. Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning book.
"The Boy Who Loved Words" – Amazon link
Teacher's Guide for "The Boy Who Loved Books" Pre-reading activities, Vocabulary, and integrated curriculum connection activities
- "Max's Words" by Kate Banks 5:43 min. Grades K-3 On the NCBLA 2007 list of outstanding literature, Max’s Words introduces us to Max, a little brother without a collection. Wanting a collection like his brothers, Max begins to collect words. His collection grows and grows until he has enough for stories, and for sharing.
"Max's Words" video clip from Scholastic 1:09 min.
"Max's Words" Discussion Guide from Scholastic
Websites for Ideas:
- Word Wall 101 2:39 min. Teacher demonstrates how to make a content word wall that displays and stores easily.
- Word Wall Activities – Classroom activities plus suggestions for at home
- http://www.vocabulary.co.il/ - 1000 Free online Vocabulary learning games - includes English language, foreign language, ESL vocabulary, and literature games. Choose from myriad of word games - play on iPad, notebook, computer
- Teacher net Word Strategies - Word Wall Activities
- Education World: Word Wall Activities Build Skills
- Five Word Wall Activities to help reinforce vocabulary