University of Pittsburgh School of Education

A Word Wall Idea

LEADERS Handbook of Early Literacy Strategies and Activities

Time: 10 minutes
Group Style: Whole group
Grade Level: K-3


Students will actively use the word wall to identify words in text. This enables them to recognize high frequency words in context.



  1. While writing the morning message, be sure to include the targeted high frequency words from the word wall.
  2. After reading the morning message, a student will come to the morning message and circle the targeted word.
  3. Then add that word to the word wall. (This step is done on day one.)
  4. The next day, repeat, but this time the student will find the targeted word in the morning message as well as from the word wall.

Teacher Comments

  • Your word wall must be at the children's level.
  • Prior learning of the use of the word wall is necessary.
  • Several targeted words may be used during one lesson.

"Must Have" Word Wall Sources

Throop, Sara
Success With Sight Words: Multisensory Ways to Teach High-Frequency Words
PhD Creative Teaching Press, 1999. 
Cunningham, Patricia M. and Hall, Dorothy P.
Month by Month Phonics (Available by grade level: Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, Upper Grades)
Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company, Inc., 1997.
Cunningham, Patricia M., Hall, Dorothy P., and Sigmon, Cheryl M.
The Teacher's Guide to the Four Blocks: A Multilevel Framework for Grades 1-2
Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company, Inc., 1999.
Hill, Sandi
Developing Literacy Using Reading Manipulatives
Creative Teaching Press, 1997.
Lynch, Judy
Making Word Walls Work
A Complete Systematic Guide with Routines, Grade-Perfect Word Lists, and Reproducible Word Cards to Help All Children Master High-Frequency Words
Teaching Resources, 2005.
Callella, Trish
Making Your Word Wall More Interactive
Creative Teaching Press, 2001.

For further information about working with Word Walls: See the Four Blocks website and look under "Working with Words."