Together, let’s create an ABC Word Wall with our children! A Word Wall is a way to organize words that your child has learned to read. Today I will show you how to create your own Word Wall at home and also show you how to model and practice reading it with your child.
My daughter, KC, knows how to read the words “go, to, the, look, at, in, and my” so those words will be the first to go on “KC’s Word Wall” (but not immediately). Your child’s Word Wall will continue to grow as they learn more sight words. It’s a great idea to include your child in the creation of their ABC Word Wall. My daughter said, “But mom, I don’t need a ‘Word Wall’ because I already have gold dots on my wall!” Good point, KC! So this is how I explained what a “Word Wall” is to my daughter.
“I am making a chart with a box for every letter of the alphabet just like in the ABC song. I will put the letters in order (capital and lower case) going across and when I run out of room, I will go down to the next row. When I am done writing each letter of the alphabet, we will need a picture for each box that starts with that letter.”
How to make a Word Wall with your child
- Take a poster board (I found a 3 pack of white poster board size 22 inches x 28 inches at Joanne’s Fabric) or a large sheet of paper (minimum 17-1/2 or 18 X 22 inches) and mark off 5 squares across and 6 squares down (30 squares total), giving enough space in each square to write a lot of words over time. On my large poster board, my 5 squares across measured 5-10/16 in. (5.625 inches) and my 6 squares down measured 3-4/16 in. (3.25 inches). This almost worked out perfectly, and also left me about 2-1/2 inches at the top for a title to our Word Wall. Tip: Leave room at the very top to label it “[Your child’s name]’s Word Wall”. Use pencil and then marker pen to line off the squares. My post board already had a grid on it which helped to make the straight lines.
- This starts out as an alphabet chart. Title the top space of each square with 1 uppercase and 1 lower case alphabet letter going across, from Aa to Zz.
- Find 1 picture/clip art for each letter. A helpful technique when including your child as your pick your pictures is to focus on just a handful of letters with them, choose a few pictures that you think are appropriate in advance and then ask your child to pick the 1 they like best. Tip: Be sure to choose pictures for the vowels yourself. You don’t want a picture of an acorn for the letter “a” but rather the short “a” sound. Also, have fun choosing pictures that mean something to your child. We picked a picture of a parrot for the letter Pp since we have 2 pet parrots, watermelon for Ww because it’s her favorite food, and Queen Elsa of course for the letter Qq!
- Cut out and paste each picture next to the letter (or right below the letter). This is what alphabet charts in classrooms look like! For reference, the pictures used on most ABC charts are: apple, ball, cat, dog, elephant, fish, goat, horse, insect, jack-in-the-box, kite, lion, mouse, nest, octopus, pencil, queen, ring, snake, tiger, umbrella, violin, watch, x-ray, yellow, zebra.
Here are links (see below) to the exact clip art we chose! I’m hoping that this saves you the time and effort of looking for clip art yourself because it took me a long, long time. (In parenthesis next to each letter below, you’ll find the percentage that I manually changed the image “scale” to when printing): Please Note- Many of the links to this clip art is no longer available. I’ve deleted any broken links and you’ll find clip art below for 10 of the letters.
I do not claim any of this clip art as my own. I found it all on the internet and did my best to only choose free images. I am not using these images to make money, and I hope that you will not either.
Aa, Bb (25%), Cc, Dd, Ee, Ff, Gg, Hh (30%), Ii, Jj (25%), Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn (20%, print “orientation” as horizontal), Oo (25%), Pp (20%), Qq (35%, only print 1st page), Rr, Ss, Tt (30%), Uu, Vv, Ww, Xx (40%), Yy, Zz (20%)
How to model/practice the Word Wall with your child
- Point below the letter and picture for A, a, apple as you say/read what you are pointing to. Be sure to have a conversation about why each picture is in a particular box. For example, “An ‘apple’ in the Aa box because when I say ‘apple’, I feel my mouth make the ‘a’ sound like the letter Aa. A makes the ‘a’ sound.”
- Have your child try it.
- Go to Bb ball and repeat steps 1 and 2.
- After completing steps 1 and 2 for the 1st row of letters, you will now model the entire 2nd row at once the same way as step 1.
- Have your child try the entire 2nd row.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each row until you’ve completed the entire alphabet Tip: You will be able to tell if you can do the whole chart or 1/2 the chart in 1 sitting.
Tip: We suggest hanging your Word Wall in your child’s room so that it can be reviewed every night before bedtime.
I know that this looks like a lot of work right now, but it will pay off big time! This is one of the first activities teachers start with daily in Kindergarten. Send us pictures of your Word Wall and we will try to feature them all on our blog! – lifeasallison