Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ideas for working with Word Wall Words

 So, as a homeschool teacher I think it's important to have certain routines in our classroom. One of the things my daughter loves to do is the Word Wall.

We start the week by playing Word Bingo on Mondays. We do this every Monday and it's our first activity of the day. I have a set of 12 words that we will be working on throughout the week. I print them randomly in 3 columns (I don't actually used a bingo board, although you can). Then, I give my daughter a bag of pennies for her to mark the words as I read them.

When one column is completely filled in, she yells Bingo! As an end to the activity, I will write each word on an index card and my daughter will pin them on our Word Wall. It's a great start to our week and we both enjoy this activity.

Here are some other ideas for working with Word Wall Words:
  • Word Pyramids - I give my daughter a sheet with blank lines (in the shape of a pyramid), and she has to spell out the words, letter by letter. We do 3 word pyramids at a time (more than that would get boring!). Depending on the level of difficulty of the words in a particular week, we may do word pyramids a couple of times a week.

  • Alphabet word order game - My daughter takes the index cards down from our Word Wall and she places them in alphabetical order. This is a great activity for practicing alphabet order, especially when there are several words with the same first letter. The kids really need to think about alphabet order to place the words correctly. Again, another simple activity, but for some reason, Buttercup loves it.
  •  "Words out of a hat"  - This is a game I created to practice sentence parts (Not a very creative name but it works). I wrote down a set of language related directions and Buttercup will randomly pick one out of a hat! and she has to follow the instructions on the paper. For example: Once card reads "Choose any word with a long vowel sound". Buttercup looks at the Word Wall to find a word that fits the requirement. I have included this activity in My Printables, so feel free to print out the directions and try them out. I would suggest playing this game once or twice a week. In my house, we play it every day and Buttercup goes through all of the cards because she loves this activity as well. I think it might be her favorite.

  • Writing practice - Sometimes I'll just ask Buttercup to pick 3 words and write sentences in her notebook.

  • Word Scramble - Towards the end of the week, when Buttercup has pretty much mastered all of her Word Wall words, I give her a word scramble. I usea free website called Superkids that allows you to plug in your own words and it scrambles them for you. Word scramble is a more challenging activity which is the reason I reserve it for the end of the week. I want to make sure Buttercup has a good grasp of the words (imagine trying to unscramble words before you really even know how to spell them; that could be very discouraging for the child).

We end the week with a "test" (in quotes because we don't really do tests in our homeschool). I will read the words from the week and she will write them down. There is a reward for spelling all 12 words correctly! That is a huge incentive and makes the "test" more of a challenge. My daughter will usually be able to spell them all. If she still has trouble with a word, we will work on it the following week.

Here is a complete list of our Word Wall activities and games:
-Word Bingo
-Word Pyramids
-Words out of a hat
-Alphabet order game
-Word Scramble

Try out these activities and let me know how they work out for you.

Happy Homeschooling Adventures!


  1. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing. I like your "words out of a hat" idea. I will have to implement something similar to our word work.


    1. Thanks Julie. Let me know how it works for you. BTW, I like your blog and will add it to my blog list.

  2. Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas for using your word wall.

    Kaylee's Education Studio

  3. Great ideas. Even though I don't Homeschool, I'm thinking these would be great summer activities to keep the brain focused. :)

  4. Thanks Debbie!

    I agree. We always continue with our reading in the summer.