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Wonderful Word Walls
Students will be able to use a classroom word wall to write and spell grade-appropriate words.
- Gather students together for the start of the lesson.
- Pretend that you are going to write a note to one of your students. Begin to write the note on your whiteboard or chart paper, starting with “Dear.” Then pause and think aloud, “I want to write __’s name, but I don’t know how to spell it! I wonder where I could look?”
- Display the word wall and explain to students that a word wall is a spelling tool that can help them spell words.
- Explain that students need to start by figuring out the first letter of the word they are looking for on the word wall.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(5 minutes)
- Model how to find a specific student’s name by using the alphabet to find the first letter of the student’s name and identifying the name underneath it.
- Explain that sometimes there will be more than one word under a letter, so students will have to look at the other letters in the word to figure out if it is the right name.
- Show students how you can bring a clipboard over to the word wall and copy the spelling of the word (or name) and then go back to your seat.
- Display the sight word cards you created for this lesson (between two and five are good numbers to start with) and go over each word with your class.
- Demonstrate how you place each sight word card under the correct letter of the alphabet on the word wall. Ask for student participation and have them call out the first letter of each word.
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Pass out index cards to each student and assign them a partner.
- Have each student find their name on the word wall, then have them find and record their partner’s name using the index card.
- Ask students to trade index cards with their partner when finished to double check their name was spelled correctly.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Pass out the word wall worksheets to each student and have them fill in the word wall using the names and sight words displayed.
- Provide students with assistance as needed.
Support: For struggling students, have them draw pictures that correspond to each letter sound on their word wall worksheet rather than writing down the words or names. This will encourage letter-sound practice.
- Enrichment: For more advanced students, have them add additional words to their word wall.
- Ask students to choose one name or word from the word wall and write it on an index card.
- Have students illustrate the card to show the meaning of the name or word. This index card can be used as an exit ticket for the lesson.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Put an additional sight word or known word on the word wall while students are working independently.
- Ask students to help you find the new word on the word wall. Make sure that students understand the importance of knowing the first letter sound in order to find the word.
- Review finding additional names or words as needed.