Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Monday Motivation - Content Word Walls

For the first time this summer I am happy to join the wonderful Jen at Teacher by the Beach for Monday Motivation.
I know - it's hard to be motivated when the summer is in full swing. But, hopefully you'll tuck this idea away for when you really need it. 

I teach third grade, and I've found that I prefer to use a word wall for content words that relate to our units  in science and social studies.
I begin when we study non-fiction text features. We use the text features to discover definitions of words - for instance the meaning of a word may be listed in a sidebar, or as a caption to a picture, or 
(of course) in the glossary.

Students choose a word that they want to become an "expert" on that relates to the unit we are doing.
Students neatly print their word on a word card, and then write the definition on the back.
I like to do interactive games with the word cards, so the students have a chance to teach others their word.

Next I attach each student's picture to their word card, and post them on a bulletin board.
The students really take ownership of their word, and notice it as we work through the related unit of study.
In the first Word Experts board we did last year, I wrote the student words on the cards after they had done the word and definition on a sloppy copy.

As an extension of this activity, I asked my students to find word in online books on the Epic app!
They worked in pairs to find a word related to our unit on Simple Machines.
They cropped took a photo of the word and definition, cropped it, and saved it to our class Padlet.
We were able to print this, and add it to our science notebooks.

Also, I've found it easy to use nameplate word walls from Steps to Literacy.
An added bonus is that the dog under D looks just like my own dog!
They have four different versions of desktop word walls to choose from, depending on your grade level.  
And, they are on sale right now!!

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