How to Implement the Word Wall Teaching Strategy in Your Classroom
The word wall teaching method creates a place in the classroom where learners display the meanings of essential ideas utilizing words and pictures. As learners encounter new vocabulary in the content, creating a word wall offers one way to help them comprehend and interpret ideas in the content. It is also an effective way for learners to keep track of new terms they’ve learned in a unit of study.
Vocabulary terms that you may add to your class word wall include: bystander, perpetrator, genocide, democracy, tolerance, nationalism, and prejudice.
- Prepare the Space: First, chose a space in the room for your word wall. Large sheets of poster paper or a whiteboard work well.
- Build Your Word Wall: Before you begin reading content, watching a video, or studying new material, assign learners, possibly working in pairs, a term to define for the class word wall. You can also require learners to present an image or graphic that embodies the meaning of this word. Associating a picture with a name is one way to help learners remember descriptions.
- Add to Your Word Wall: More terms can be placed on the word wall as needed. Learners can also update the descriptions on their word walls as they develop a deeper comprehension of key terms.
- Multiple Word Walls: You can post several class word walls at once, and they can be organized in several ways. For instance, it would be interesting to create a word wall of Nazi euphemisms, or bureaucratic language utilized by the Nazi government to avoid directly stating what was happening to Jews and other targeted groups. This is an excellent example of words taking on new meanings—extermination, for instance, had a definite connotation when utilized by the Nazis.