Phonics Display – Our word wall 5


Our word wall, originally uploaded by Glazgow.

Several people have asked for phonics classroom displays. I’m not surprised as they are hard to do well. One approach, that produces a really interactive display, is to go for a word wall.
Glazgow did this one with a Primary 3 (7 year olds) class in Scotland. He says

Our word wall (window actually). Has all the phonemes, the alphabet, common words (tricky words) and punctuation. It also has 6 lines which can be used to make sentences when working with the children.

This is a great working display that can be brought out year after year. It can be used by individuals, groups or for whole class teaching. All that needs to be done is to laminate everything and use lots of sticky putty.
It’s important that it is placed at child height so that it can be used easily.
I’m in two minds about using window space this way. There are good arguments both for and against. What do you think?


About Linda Hartley

Hi, I enjoy helping teachers to make their classrooms into interesting visual learning environments. I write most of this site and I also run the Classroom Displays online course which you can find out more about in the sidebar.


What do you think?

5 thoughts on “Phonics Display – Our word wall

  • Jess

    Hi there,
    I am starting my probationary year with primary 3s this year and I love the interactivity of this display. I was wondering why the tricky words have been colour-coded in 3 categories? This is probably a silly question but I have no experience of this age group!

    Also would you introduce the words to the wall gradually based on the spelling words that week?

    Any pointers anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated.

    • Linda Post author

      Good luck with Year 3, possibly my favourite year group 🙂
      I’ve passed your question on to the teacher responsible for the display but a glance at their Flickr stream suggests they are on holiday in the US just at the moment 🙂
      My own guess is that the colours relate to the HF lists the words come from. If I’m right then the yellow ones should be known already by all the class,(Reception high frequency word list) the green ones (year 1/2 high frequency word list) by most. So I’d have those up from the start, then I’d add in the blue ones as we progressed through the year in conjunction with the spelling lists. Does that help?

  • Sunflower Lily

    I like this word wall. I agree with you Linda, word walls are so hard to organise well. I’m never sure whether to go for an alphabetical display, random, themed, or even to section the wall off like Glasgow has done. I’ve decided that next year, I’ll probably have several word walls: an alphabetical main word wall, a high frequency (popcorn words) wall, and several laminated A3 sheets for phonics walls and theme walls. I like the way he/she has organised this word wall as a working wall, which is completely interactive. Ideally, using the window space wouldn’t be necessary, however in the reality of a cramped classroom, you’ll use every available space – floors, windows, ceiling and walls! As long as too much light isn’t blocked out, then I would be happy to use the windows for display.

  • Linda Post author

    Hi Judy,
    Your site looks interesting though the auditory element might not be ideal for the largely UK audience of this blog.
    There’s been a move here towards more organised approaches to the teaching of phonics in recent years and there are lots of dedicated resources available here.

  • Judy Ramirez

    Think of the benefits if your word wall was organized according to the vowel sounds!
    Note: [it] is displayed twice

    Sound 1 – an as at and can had has that; have
    Sound 2 – if in is it into his this which with
    Sound 3 – on not
    Sound 4 – up but; the; about was what; of other; one some
    Sound 5 – them then when; said
    Sound 6 – make; a; there; their; they
    Sound 7 – like time write; I; by
    Sound 8 – more; or go so for; your
    Sound 9 – use; do to
    Sound 10 – see; be he she we; here these; each
    Sound 11 – all wall
    Sound 12 – look; would
    Sound 13 – how; out
    Sound 14 – (boy; noise)
    Sound 15 – her; were; word