A Fun Way to Build Vocabulary in Children

Aug 24, 2021 9:00:00 AM | A Fun Way to Build Vocabulary in Children

A word wall can be a fun and easy way to build vocabulary in children in the classroom. Read on to know how you can get this done.


A word wall is a space on the wall dedicated to displaying words that are important for your class to know and use. It works based on ‘sight word approach’. In early elementary grades, these are words that the children are learning to read and write. In higher grades, these can be words related to concepts and topics that children are learning about. You’ll know you have a successful Word Wall when children use it daily to find just the right word for reading or writing. A fun and an easy way to build vocabulary in children in classroom.

Here's how you can do it so every child build a healthy relationship with the written word :) 

Presenting...#smallBIGidea - 7

There are two type of words that can be put up on a Word Wall

Concept based words: These are important/key words of a particular lesson. Teacher can decide the words based on the vocabulary level of children. 15 to 20 words from a lesson is recommended.

Frequently occurring words: This is a list of words children use for framing sentences. The words are chosen based on the age group and vocabulary level of the children. It is recommended to display few words every Month.

 1 Keep it simple. Use a normal chart paper. One for each subject. Title it as “My Word Wall”.
 2 Put them in a place where every child can easily view them.
 3 They should be written in large black letters using a variety of background colours.
 4 Bring the class’s attention to a word on the Word Wall whenever that particular word comes in the flow of a lesson
5 Word Walls should be referred to often so the children come to understand and see their relevance.
6 Children may be asked to frame sentences by using selected words from the Word Wall.
7 Keep adding words on a regular basis to make a comprehensive list.
 8 Old words could be removed as and when new words are getting added
 9 As a routine, give opportunity for the children to read words from the Word Walls every day.

How does a Word Wall Build Vocabulary in Children? 

  • Children can use the words as a reference during reading and writing.
  • It helps children see patterns and relationship in words, thus building phonics and spelling skills. Example, having the words the, they, their and there together on the wall helps children recognize the similarities and differences between them.
  • It reinforces the spelling of important terms across a unit or of frequently misspelled words.
  • Expanding children's vocabulary by helping them see how words connect. 





Pedagogic “Why” for this #SmallBIGidea:

  1. Word walls help students build sight word recognition so they can recognize them at a glance (Huebner & Bush, 1970).* 
  2. Utilizing word walls and word wall activities may help students develop a sight word vocabulary that further allows them to retain the words and read text.**
  3. Word walls help promote independent reading and writing in children.***

Supporting research papers:

  1. *Huebner, M., & Bush, C. (1970). Strategies for reading in the elementary school. New York: Macmillan.
  2. **Voices on Word Matters - “Multilevel Word Study: Word Charts, Word Walls, and Word Sorts” (Dorothy P. Hall and Patricia M. Cunningham)
  3. ***Cunningham, P. (1995) Phonics they use: Words for reading and writing. Boston, MA: Pearson.
  4. https://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/word_walls

What are #smallBIGideas? 

Presenting, some #SmallBigIdeas that can transform Formative Education in your schools. They are seemingly small but definitely impactful. Because, all you would need is an open mind and a willing heart. 

What: One #smallBIGidea a week - just 1-minute reading time.  

How: #smallBIGidea sent to your email ID with link to a one-page document that explains the pedagogy and the steps to implement it.

It is these simple ideas that can go on to bring a radical transformation. In your school. For the child.

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Written By: Sunitha Anupkumar