Pre-K Word Walls

Instructor: Kimberly Elliott

Kimberly teaches college humanities and has a master's degree in humanities.

Word walls promote early literacy and letter recognition. Word walls are especially important to children in Pre-K, as they are just beginning their literacy journey. Read on for inspiration for your own Pre-K word wall.

Building a Word Wall

Traditionally, word walls use a series of alphabet tiles to sort words by their first letter. To create a word wall of your own, mount letters of the alphabet along one wall of the classroom and place corresponding words beneath each letter. This can be an effective and useful way to organize words and help your students reference the vocabulary they're learning in class. Suggestions for what to include on your word wall are listed below.

Sight Words

Although students in Pre-K are not formally reading yet, it's a good time to begin practice with some pre-primer sight words. These are frequently used words and/or words that are easier to recognize by sight than by sounding out, such as:

  • Colors: blue, red, yellow
  • Numbers: one, two, three
  • Sizes: big, little
  • Directions: up, down

For additional examples of effective sight words, check out this lesson on grade-appropriate sight words from You can also explore some of the instructional techniques used to help students learn them.

Seasonal Words

Tap into the season or holiday of the month by posting words corresponding to that season. Introduce words first in a read-aloud book or through song. Crafts and other activities can also reinforce the words listed on the word wall. Some examples include:

  • October: fall, apple, harvest, pumpkin
  • November: turkey, Thanksgiving, football, leaves
  • December: snowman, cookies, bells, lights

To discover more tips for introducing these words to your students, see these lessons on read alouds and other activities to promote emergent literacy.

Thematic Words

Throughout the Pre-K year, themes will emerge as you read books to your students, create crafts, and engage them in other hands-on learning. Use these words as the backbone of your word wall. Some examples include:

  • Community helpers: police, firefighter, librarian, teacher
  • Farm words: cow, chicken, pig, barn
  • Insects: butterfly, caterpillar, lady bug, bee

Additional Resources

For more information on early literacy and activities that can help your emerging readers, please see the following lessons from

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