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Classroom Tools: 3 No-Prep Word Wall Games

Hi Teachers! Welcome back to our Building Back to School Linky Party!! Last week we talked about Tools for Teachers. Thanks to everyone for linking up and stopping by, & a big congrats to our giveaway winner, Cam Elwood!! I'm super excited about week two & a chance to chat and read about some Classroom Tools!

In last week's post, I discussed how passionate I am about KEEPING IT SIMPLE! I truly feel that teachers are overwhelmed enough with the life of a day-to-day teacher without feeling the added unnecessary pressure of making every lesson uber elaborate.

My goal for this linky series is to bring you some simple, no & low-prep ways to bring engaging, meaningful, and fun activities to your classroom. So! This week, let's talk about getting some extra use out of your word wall!

This picture is of my word wall before my recent update. I LOVE word walls! So so sooo much! They are obviously an awesome reference tool for your students to use as they write, but are you using them in other parts of your day? Word wall games are a GREAT tool to have in your arsenal. Teach your students the procedures for a handful of games, and then you have simple and meaningful activities to use lessons, play when you have an extra few minutes to fill, allow early finishers to play together, and more!

I present to you: Three NO-PREP Word Wall Games:

1. I Spy

This is just like your good old fashioned "I Spy" game, but with lots of room for twists! Here are some ideas for mixing it up.

  • After you have modeled how the game works, let students give the clues.
  • Let just one student go at a time, or let several students race to find the answer they're looking for. Use their hand or a flyswatter to swat the answer. 
  • Consider having younger/beginner students stand close to the wall, but adding in some variety to their positioning after they have the hang of the rules. They can stand with their back to the wall and turn around, stand across the room and run to the wall when they know the answer, etc.
  • Give a variety of clues other than "the word 'run.'" Try a word that starts with _, rhymes with _, means _, is a noun/verb/adj, is new on our wall, etc. You can play in a "20 questions" form where there are several clues and only one answer, or you can play where there are a lot of correct answers!
  • Instead of having individual or a few students stand at the wall, get the whole class involved by letting them write their thoughts/answers on paper, whiteboards, the chalk board, etc. [Have you considered letting them write on the windows or tile floors with dry erase?! (Test it first!)
  • Another way to engage students when it's not their turn is to allow them to whisper their guesses to a partner. 

2. Twenty Questions

  • This game works best with smaller word walls, especially with vocabulary. 
  • Let the whole class (or a large group) play at once! Line up half of the class with their back to the word wall. These are the Question Askers. Give each of your Question Askers a partner to face them (and the word wall). These are your Question Answerers. You (or a student) chooses a word and points to it, silently. Make sure all of your Answerers can see it! When you're ready, the Askers will start asking yes or no questions! Some questions they may ask are: Is it a noun? Is it a color? Does it have more than 5 letters? Is it a person?
  • One way to make this game less difficult is to switch the roles. Let the Answer give clues instead. "It has 4 letters, it rhymes with Day, it means to go outside and swing or slide."

3. Relay

  • Form teams and line your kiddos up in lines in front of the word wall. The first student goes to a word and points to it. The next student in line has to read, define, spell with their eyes closed, name a rhyming word, tell the part of speech, etc. When they do so successfully, the pointer goes to the end of the line and the answerer becomes the pointer. 
  • Some ways to structure the time: Set a timer and see how many words each team (or the class as a whole) can get through in that time. Have each student sit as they go to the back of the line & have the first team with everyone done be the winner. Have the whole class or one team at a time play and see how fast they can get through the whole line.
  • To involve other students when they are not playing, have them try to write the words down in order as you go.
  • Instead of changing the "pointer," assign one capable student to have this designated role. This could be a reward for someone!
  • As with "I Spy," one way to engage students when it's not their turn is to allow them to whisper their guesses to a partner. 
And now for the fun part!!! This week I'll be giving away my updated word wall bundle! If you don't want to wait for it, no problem! It's on SALE this week, along with all of my vocabulary cards!! Grab them by WEDNESDAY for 20% off! This week I stumbled accross Kelly & Kim's Kreations! In honor of their #MarkdownMonday, these sets will stay on sale ALL WEEK!! Thanks for the sweet linky Kelly & Kim!

Check out my Word Wall bundle (Marked down ALL week, AND in the GIVEAWAY!) by clicking here:

Check out my growing Vocabulary Card Bundle (ON SALE ALL WEEK!) by clicking here:

For this week's giveaway, in addition to my Mega Word Wall Pack, you'll also have a chance to win goodies from several other awesome TPTers! Check out the Rafflecopter below to see what fun prizes are in store for you!! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

8 comments on "Classroom Tools: 3 No-Prep Word Wall Games"
  1. Love the extra I Spy Ideas! Thank you for sharing your creativity.

  2. Love the extra I Spy Ideas! Thank you for sharing your creativity.

  3. Great tips! Thank you for hosting this month long link party!

  4. If there is one thing I need to work on, it's utilizing my word wall! Thanks for the awesome game ideas, Denise! I'm heading over to look at your units now :)

  5. I love the I Spy idea! I'm going to incorporate that into my "I'm Finished!" board. Thanks for sharing!
    :) Sarah

  6. Great ideas for the games! The I Spy is something I will use ASAP! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas.

    Notes From the Portable

  7. Thanks for the word wall games! My daughter is only just starting to read, but it is nice to have a few games on hand to practice those tricky ones.

    Learning with Sunflower Smiles

  8. These are some great ways to keep a word wall exciting! Thanks for all the ideas.

    Sugar Cube Learning