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word wall


Our word wall is a list of sight words that First Graders frequently use in their writing. These words are introduced at the rate of 5 per week. Word wall words often don't fit into "traditional" spelling patterns. Many of them cannot be sounded out phonetically. In our class, we call them
Red Words...
or words you simply have to learn. The words are reviewed weekly and used to add more vocabulary to the children's written work. The words are arranged alphabetically, and during writer's workshop as well as other writing times, children can refer to the word wall when they need to spell a basic sight word!

sunflower beeline
birdhouse and flowers


  • Use each word in a sentence
  • Find rhyming words
  • Use your flashcards and have someone quiz you
  • Cut out words using magazine letters
  • Play any of the games described below with your friends or family

  • sunflower belline


    Some of these ideas were posted on the Teachers.Net 1st grade webring,
    and are being used with gratitude by our children.


    bee This is a real favorite in our class! All the sight words we have learned are put in a box. The children sit in a circle and each take a word from the box. If they can read the word, they get to keep it. If they cannot, the word is returned to the box. If they pull a card with the word Bang! from the box, all the cards they have collected so far must be returned to the box. the
    child with the greatest number of cards when the game ends is the winner and gets to pick out a sticker.

    Word Wall Bingo #1

    bee Each child has a bingo card with six blank spaces. The children write one word wall word of their choice in each space. Then the words are removed from the wall, placed into a container, and pulled out one by one. If the word that is pulled out is on a child's Bingo card, that word may be covered with a marker. When the entire card is covered, a child can yell "BINGO!"

    Word Wall Bingo #2

    bee This game is done in a small group of 5-7 children. Sight words are written on either 9 word or 15 word cards (cards are laminated so they can be re-used). The teacher picks a word from a box, reads it and uses it in a sentence. If the word is on their card, the children put a marker on that word. The winner is the first child to completely fill his/her card.

    Bean Bag Toss

    bee Materials: One shower curtain liner divided into 20 squares
              Bean Bag
              Words on large cards with small numbers on the corner of each card.
    Attach the words to the shower curtain with tape or rubber cement before the game is to be played. Divide the class into 2 teams. Each team will take turns throwing the bean bag to a square. If the student can read the word the bean bag lands on, the team gets the number of points on the card. If the student misses the word, the other team gets the chance to say it. The team with the most points wins the game.
            Some alternative games using a shower curtain:
    • For the beginning of the year or for kindergarten: Write the letters of the alphabet onto cards. The children identify the letter name or the sound(s) that letter makes.
    • Make index cards for upper and lower case letters. Give the students the lower case cards to match to the upper case liner. Give the other students upper case cards to match to the lower case liner. For variation -- they can choose the card from a pile and then attempt to toss the bean bag onto the matching box.
    • Students can toss the bean bag onto the liner. They must then name a word that begins with the sound of the letter it landed on.
    • Students pick up a picture card. they must then try to toss the bean bag onto the square that contains the letter that matches the beginning sound of the picture on the card.

    Around the World

    bee All the students sit in a circle (or in their desks) One student stands behind another student who is sitting. The teacher flashes them a sight word. Whichever child says the word first will move on to the next student. The student who makes it back to his or her own desk or starting point is the winner.


    bee Divide the class into two teams of X's and O's. Write sight words in the tic-tac-toe spaces. Team members take turns coming up and selecting a space to read. If the child reads the word correctly, he or she may put up an X or O for his or her team. If the answer is incorrect, the other team gets to send a player to the board to try to read the same word.
      An easy alternative to save time and keep the game moving is to have several tic-tac-toe boards made up with words ahead of time on overhead transparencies.
      Another alternative is to give each child a blank copy of the tic tac toe board, and put the list of words on the board. The children can place the words wherever they want to on their board. As the teacher calls the words out, she will have to tell the children if the word is an X word or an O word. The first child to get tic-tac-toe is the winner.


    Materials: Blank "Wordo " cards with 9, 16, or 25 blocks. Copy of words being studied
    Have students fill in their cards with the words that they are working on. Tell them that each card must be different and to try to mix up the words they are using. Playing the game is similar to BINGO. The teacher calls out the words and has the students spell it out loud and then mark their spaces. Spelling the words out loud will give those who are unsure of the word some extra help. The first child to cover an entire row calls out the word "WORDO"! The winner can call out the words the next time.


    bee Materials: Sight words at 4 different levels (from simple to more difficult). Make them on different colored cards and have the type of hit that each color represents posted somewhere thateveryone can see it clearly.
    Designate different places in the room as 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, and homeplate. Divide the students into 2 teams. Designate one team as the home team, and the other as the visitors. Mix up the cards. The children take turns going to the homeplate. Draw out a card and let the child attempt to read the word. If the student can read the card correctly, he or she may move according to the type of hit. (A single: move 1 base, a double: move 2 bases, a triple: move 3 bases, and a homerun: go all the way to homeplate.) Make sure that you have included some strike out cards and walk cards among the word cards. If the student is unable to read the word, it is considered an out. After 3 outs, the next team gets to "Bat". Keep the score so that everyone can see.

    Erasing Relay

    bee Write two columns of words on the board that are approximately equal in difficulty. Include as many words on the board as there are children in the relay. Children are divided into 2 teams, and will stand in two lines at right angles to the chalkboard. At the signal, the first child in each line points at the first word in his respective column of words and reads that word. If he or she reads the word correctly, he or she is allowed to erase that word. The game is won by the side that erases all the words first.

    Team Sight Word Race

    bee The children are divided into 2 teams. Each team takes a turn attempting to correctly read a word turned up from a pile of sight words. If one team misses, the opposite team then receives a chance to read that word in addition to their regular turn. Score is kept on the number of words each team reads correctly. Have each team member go to the back of the line after each try whether successful or not. This enables all members to gain equal practice and does not eliminate those people who need practice most.

    The Head Chair

    bee Mark one chair in the circle as the "Head Chair". The teacher shows cards with the sight word on them to the child in the head chair and that child attempts to read the word. A child can stay in this chair only until he misses a word. When he misses a word, he goes to the end chair and all the children will move up one chair. The object of the game is to try to end up in the "Head Chair".

    Sight Word Money

    bee This is a fun way to integrate language arts with money recognition. Divide the children into two teams. Have play money available in the following values: pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars. (I usually start with just 3 amounts) Each money denomination represents a sight word activity with an increasing degree of difficulty. For example: for a penny the child reads the word, for a nickel the child reads the word and acts it out, for a dime the child reads the word and tells its meaning and so on. The first child tells how much money he is playing for. If he answers the question correctly, his team gets the money. If the answer is incorrect, you go back from team to team until it is answered correctly, and that team will get the money. The team with the most money at the end wins.

    The Head Chair

    bee Materials: Group size cards Mark one chair in the circle as the "Head Chair". Play begins when you flash a card to the person in the "Head Chair". A child can stay in his chair only until he misses a word. When he misses a word, he goes to the end chair and all the children will move up one chair. The object of the game is to try to end up in the "Head Chair".

    Vowel Hopscotch

    bee Use chalk to make a hopscotch board outdoors. Write the vowel sounds in the squares. Students toss a bean bag onto the gameboard. They have to hop to the bean bag, say the vowel and the sound, short and/or long. If they say it correctly, they may pick up the bean bag and continue. If the answer is mpt correct, they leave it there for the next child.

    ABC order

    bee This idea, posted by one of the teachers on the webring has proven to be very valuable in helping children understand ABC order. It is both visual and kinesthetic, which really enhances learning.
    Take a blank sentence strip. Place an ABC desktape on one side and a 1-20 desktape on the other side and aminated. When working on ABC order the students are given an ABC strip and big paperclips (a later option here would be numbered clothespins). They look at their words and put a paperclip (or clothepin) over the letter that each one begins with. Then they can look at the strip and see which letter comes first, second, and third.
    When working with a larger number of words, write the words on 3x5 index cards and place them in the pocketchart with one of the ABC strips at the top. The students can then physically move the cards in the pockets vertically until they get them in the correct order. Then they copy them down onto their paper. By letting them move them around in the pocketchart first, they can more clearly visualize what they are copying down.

    Who Wants to Read Like a Millionaire?

    bee Divide the class into two teams. Using index cards prepared with the sight words, give each student a chance to read a word (going back and forth from team to team). The student may use a lifeline and call a friend (on the toy telephone) in the classroom to help them read the word. This game can turn noisy. I make it a rule that if you talk and it is not your turn, your team loses a point.

    More Game Ideas

    bee Make up 1 or more game boards or use board from old games picked up at yard sales; use your own creativity. It would be helpful to make some game boards with fewer spaces and some with more.
    The students roll the dice to see who will go first. Student with the highest number rolls the dice. The teacher says a word that the student should try to spell. If the student spells the word correctly, he or she may move the number of spaces indicated on the dice. If the student spells the word incorrectly, the teacher shows it to the student for a few seconds, then hides it. The student attempts to spell the word again. Usually the student gets the word the second time around. While the next student is rolling the dice, the student who has just finished his/her turn will be writing down the word he/she just spelled.
             Some extensions for this game might include any of the following:
  • Have the students write each word on their list three times
  • Have the students "rainbow write" the words on their list.

  • write sentences with the words on their list, and/or add the words to their spelling notebook.
  • sunflower belline


    (coming VERY soon)
    Click on the word wall poster to go to a page packed full of ideas of fun ways that you can use the word wall to help the children learn their sight words. With gratitude to the teachers on Kinderkorner and, who so generously share ideas with one another.

    link to Word Wall Activities

    sunflower belline


    (under construction)
    cATThere are many fun ways to study and learn spelling words. Some can be done whole class, EHT and others
    as center activities.  Still others can be done at home as homework or just to have fun.  Click on any of the spelling words to go to a page with a wide variety of ideas for you to use. Again, a heartfelt thank-you to the teachers on the listservs. My own students have enjoyed many of these activities that have been so generously shared.

         For more information on WORD WALLS, click on the links below:

    official 4 blocks siteClick here for the Official Patricia Cunningham Four Blocks Site
            Cheryl Sigmon articlesHere you will find many articles by Cheryl Sigmon about 4 Blocks and Word Walls
    4 Blocks Literacy Framework Contains information, lesson plans and links relating to the 4 Blocks Literacy Framework
            the Reading LadyThe Reading Lady contains extensive information on the 4-Blocks model.

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