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Using a word wall

At the commencement of the unit set aside a part of the classroom where words and images related to the topic can be displayed and used as a reference for students.

The area should be in a position where it can be readily viewed or accessed by students. Samples of student work can also be displayed in the area. It might be a fixed wall or a portable device.

As you build the field of knowledge in the topic area, record new items of vocabulary on cards using a clear, large font. Drawings or photographs or other images may accompany the words to assist students in recalling and comprehending them. They may be grouped by concepts, alphabetical order or grammatical functions. As new words are encountered during the unit they should be added to the word wall. Students should be encouraged to suggest new additions, either from words they have encountered in their reading around the topic or from their prior knowledge.

Include reading and discussing the words as part of classroom literacy activities. Students should be encouraged to participate in print walks, where they read and talk about the meanings of the words. The words can form part of the classroom spelling program and should be a resource for students when they are speaking, listening, reading, viewing or writing in the topic area.