|Traditional word wall|
I was inspired!
An interactive word wall takes key terms and explores those terms through words, drawings, diagrams, and physical objects. It's interactive because the students are making all the decisions about what to write, draw, and put on the wall. They bring in all the items and help the teacher decide what to include and where it goes.
Logistics: The example in the photo above has the word wall on a dry erase board. Here's an example from the article that uses a bulletin board:
I didn't have any free dry erase or bulletin boards, so I used the cabinet faces in my classroom. To create the surfaces, I opted to laminate white poster board. That way we can write on the board with wet-erase marker so the boards will be easy to clean and set-up for the next collection of words.
How To Make It Happen in Your Classroom:
1. Determine key vocabulary for the chosen topic.
The word wall above is for Ecosystems. The vocabulary words we used were: biotic, abiotic, producer, consumer, decomposer, aquatic, terrestrial, and food web
2. As you study each term's information, brainstorm ideas with the class for the wall.
3. Invite students to bring items to class.
I usually use this as a homework assignment. The items might be actual things, drawings, print-outs, or photos. In the example below there is a bag of water, a stick, toy animals, a drawing of water plants, stickers, postcards, a drawing of the sun, and a student-made food web diagram.
4. Facilitate a whole-class discussion about each item, allowing the students to figure out where it goes and why.
My students and I love our Interactive Word Wall. Now, we have something that is useful because it supports meaning more than just spelling.