"Rescue Tired Words" - Interactive Classroom Word Wall!
When writing, we all can find ourselves in a vocabulary "rut" - using the same words and expressions over and over again. For young writers with a limited vocabulary, this problem can seem to be magnified. Elementary teacher and contributor to Cheryl Sigmon's Website for educators, Laura Croglio, decided to provide her students with a way to "rescue" these overused vocabulary words.
How The Word Wall Works
Croglio began by choosing twelve of the most overused vocabulary words in her classroom, making a list of possible synonyms for each. During writing exercises, when her students encounter one of the "tired" words, she invites them to visit the word wall where they can peruse synonyms, pick a word that fits into their writing, then take it back to their seat to ensure proper spelling as well as provide them an opportunity to copy the word into their personal dictionary.
To continue the "tired" theme, Croglio includes a cute poem at the top of her board, imploring her students to rescue the overused vocabulary words who just want to "go to sleep":
Tired words want to go to sleep.
Let them rest! Don’t make a peep!
Try to use a synonym instead.
Let those tired words stay in bed!
Interactive Classroom Word Wall
- Background: Cover the top half of the bulletin board with yellow bulletin board paper and the bottom half with white bulletin board paper. The yellow paper will act as the "fitted sheet" on the bed and the white will be the base of the "quilt".
- Title: Use the title of the poem - "Tired Words!" - We love how Laura displayed the title/poem on a pillow cutout! How clever!
- Border: The original design does not make use of a border, but you might consider adding a complimentary solid color trimmer, language arts themed border, or even a brightly patterned trimmer.
- Decoration: To create the word "quilt", fashion an envelope or "pouch" for each overused vocabulary - cut rectangles from brightly colored construction paper or card stock and attach three sides to the board or purchase actual library pockets from your local office supply store. Script the overused word onto white card stock or use word processing software to print labels and add a label to the front of each envelope. Additionally, create a word label for each synonym to be placed inside the appropriate envelope.
We love this interactive word wall idea because it's easy to assemble, can be customized to fit the needs of your classroom, and will most certainly improve your students' writing and vocabulary!
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