The Importance of a Drama Word Wall for Secondary Students
Let’s chat about the importance of a drams word wall for secondary students. When I was a child, I remember spelling word tests.
Education has changed a lot since then, thank goodness.
I’m a good speller and I give all the credit to Miss DeLong. She was my scary first grade teacher who nearly beat phonics into our brains. I still remember what she looked like. That’s how much of an impression she made on me!
One of her most useful tactics for learning was fear.
The Dog House–An Old School Teaching Method
Miss DeLong was an old school teacher. When we were learning how to spell our name and address, your name would placed in the “dog house” until you could spell it correctly. The dog house was a chalked picture of a dog house in the upper right corner of her blackboard. It confused me–the outside of the dog house had grass and flowers drawn around it. I suppose she wanted it to look non-threatening…..
I hated it.
It worked, though. I learned to spell my name and address very quickly.
Maybe you are wanting a word search puzzle. Here is a bundle of them: Word Search Puzzles Bundle
Now teachers use word walls instead. Oh, thank goodness.
It makes much more sense to me, you know?
A word wall is a terrific teaching method. High frequency words of your particular subject printed in large visible letters are posted on a wall, bulletin board or other display surface in a classroom. A student sees the words all the time and consequently the words become a part of the student vocabulary in a more natural and stress free manner.
Looking for posters, too? Here are some.
This is how to use word walls
Researching this post, I check out the readingrockets.com blog. Here are their suggestions:
- Make words accessible by putting them where every student can see them. They should be written in large black letters using a variety of background colors to distinguish easily confused words.
- Teachers and students should work together to determine which words should go on the word wall. Try to include words that children use most commonly in their writing. Words should be added gradually — a general guideline is five words per week.
- Use the word wall daily to practice words, incorporating a variety of activities such as chanting, snapping, cheering, clapping, tracing, word guessing games as well as writing them.
- Provide enough practice so that words are read and spelled automatically and make sure that words from the wall are always spelled correctly in the children’s daily writing.
- New information should be added on a regular basis.
- Use content-area material from the curriculum rather than randomly selected words.
- Word walls should be referred to often so students come to understand and see their relevance.
What’s a Word Wall?
Several years ago, I taught drama until my retirement. I never had a word wall. Wow, it really would’ve helped!
You may wonder how to use Word Walls. Our secondary level students need word walls just as much as the primary level.
You can post the words just about anywhere. Some teachers add words to their wall generated by other words the students require. That makes loads of sense. Some teachers have particular words they expect their students to learn to spell–the words of the subject.
My suggestion is to begin with a few words which spring from whatever unit or lesson you are studying. Post the words, give the definitions and apply them. Switch out the words as the year progresses or merely add to the ones you have all ready displayed.
A drama class words include the components of theater–storytelling, tableau, set design, movement, chanting and so forth.
In addition, we have words and phrases which describe the stage–up center, down center, balancing the stage, entrance, exit, proscenium and thrust stage to name a few.
I created this product thinking of every grade level, because a teacher knows best what their students need. My product is a content area word wall.
You can find it here: Middle Grades and High School Drama Terms: Word Wall
Product Description of Resource
Need something for that pesky bulletin board? This is a set of 198 vocabulary word posters that highlight many of the content area words of a drama or creative dramatics class. In addition, the set includes suggested uses and word games. This word wall can be displayed all year long or the words can be displayed as they are being used throughout the year.
The teacher is the expert as to which words their students should study.
Check out these posters.
The teacher has two color combinations to choose from: black and white only or multi-colored.
If you are thinking your middle grade students might think the word wall is babyish, I bet you are incorrect. Just because a student is out of elementary school doesn’t mean their learning challenges have vanished.
I’m pretty weak math student. It wasn’t until I was in my junior year of high school that my father hired a math tutor to help me. I really could have used that tutor way back in sixth grade.
I’m just here to help.
What experiences do you have with spelling? When our daughter were young, they practiced spelling words at the breakfast table on Friday mornings prior to the week’s test.
To this day, one daughter is a good speller (like me) and the other has a few challenges (like her father). It is genetic?
I wonder if anyone has studied that question?
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DeborahBaldwin.net I’ve love to hear from you.
Here’s a new product you might want for your bulletin boards. Growth Mindset Theater Artist Quotes
If you are interested in other teaching tools, check out: Your Secret Teaching Allies–Super Heroes
How do you display theatre vocabulary in your classroom? I’d love to know. Contact me at DhcBaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net