Science Word Walls

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Learn how to set up a word wall for you science class with this article. You can find helpful tips on how to integrate a word wall into your class, as well as information on how it can benefit your students.

What Words Should I Use?

You want to use important vocabulary words from the scientific subject you're covering. These will vary depending on the grade level you teach. For higher-level students, you may only want to include words from the chapter or book section you're working on. If you're having trouble deciding which words to use, the bolded terms in the textbook are a good place to start. You may also want to check out the glossary, if your textbook has one.

Where Should the Word Wall Go?

You have several options to make your word wall fit your classroom. You can set it up on a white board, directly on the wall or even on the door to your classroom. The important thing is that the words are easy for your students to see, and easy for you to reach when you need to change them.

How Should I Set My Word Wall Up?

It's a good idea to set the word wall up as early in class as you can, so students get used to using it as a reference. How you set it up depends on the age of your students. If you teach younger children, you should probably set up the word wall on your own, making sure the words are large and easy to read. Older students can be enlisted to help you create the wall. Hand out cards and assign your students words to print clearly on them. They could even include a small graphic or picture illustrating the term. This can help students get familiar with important vocabulary words and the word wall concept.

How Do I Use the Word Wall?

The word wall isn't just there to help students spell scientific terms (though it certainly can help!). You can use it as a tool to get students ready for class, by assigning them words and having them find the definition and/or the term's root, prefix and suffix. Vocabulary terms can also be arranged, grouped or classified to increase student exposure to the words and how they are related. You might have students copy down the word wall as a homework resource, require them to include word wall vocabulary in classroom discussions or essays, or apply these words in take-home projects.

More Science Vocabulary Help

Students can learn even more about scientific vocabulary words and word parts with this lesson on science vocabulary and concepts. This information can help them understand how important word walls are. Additionally, you can find more tips for helping students absorb vocabulary words with this lesson on strategies for teaching vocabulary. This information can be used to supplement the word wall in your class, improving learning opportunities for your students.

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