What is a Sound Wall?
A sound wall is a space in the classroom to display the different sounds heard in speech. There are two parts of a sound wall that can be displayed – consonant sounds and vowel sounds. If you teach the primary grades, you should display both. If you teach the upper grades, the vowel sounds are more applicable.
You can totally get away with using Sound-Spelling Cards that come with your curriculum. The only downside to this is that it takes up a lot of space and has to be higher up. If you prefer smaller sound cards to possibly display lower and within eyesight, these might work better for you. You can click here to see a preview of the cards in this file in order to gauge the size.
The sounds in this file are arranged by manner of articulation (stops, nasals, fricatives, affricates, glides, and liquids). These categories are arranged on separate pages, this way you can print each one on a specific color.
Why Should I Use a Sound Wall?
We learn to read through our ears—through what we hear. Proficient readers make the connection between print patterns and phonological information that is already stored in the brain in order to then make meaning of the word they’re reading (Moats, 2010). This is why explicitly teaching the phonemes is an imperative precursor to teaching the sound-letter correspondence.
Additionally, if looking at it from the perspective of someone who is learning to spell, some words don’t make sense when categorized by their first letter on a word wall. For example, putting the word the under T or write under R is confusing! Categorizing them by their first sound is more natural.
To learn more about organizing a sound wall and using it during instruction, read this blog post.
Included in this File:
- Sound cards with the sound, an image, and an example word
- Mini cards (only sounds)
- Various vowel spelling patterns for the long vowels and diphthongs
- A teacher reference guide that includes common & alternative spelling patterns for each sound. If you decide to use these to help your instruction, I recommend printing these, hole punching the bottom left corner, and putting them on a ring.
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