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

As you explore the field of knowledge in the topic area, record new vocabulary items on cards using a clear, large font. Drawings, photographs or other images that will assist recall and comprehension may accompany the words. Words may be grouped by concept, alphabetical order or grammatical function. As new words are encountered during the unit they should be added to the word wall. The 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 class spelling program and should be a resource for students when they are speaking, listening, reading, viewing or writing in the topic area.