Does your school mandate a word wall? I know many schools do. And that’s not a bad thing, at all, they are actually really awesome! One thing I didn’t want to do, however, was slap a bunch of words up on my board without student involvement. So I came up with an idea called “Word Wall Pictionary.”
First, you need to create a list of words.
Go through your unit and generate a list of words or phrases from the unit you are working on that cover all essential vocabulary, then type them on slips of paper. I like to use different fonts to make them extra fun and standout. The words for my Relations & Linear Functions unit look like this:
Then, print them, cut them out, and paste them to colored paper. I usually laminate them. Then put magnets on the back. I found rolls of magnet tape that work great. These are my cards:
I change the color each unit. So my relations and functions had a green background, but my equations and inequalities from the previous unit had a purple background. This is simply so I can keep them organize to pull quickly each year as I change units.
Now, how do you play Word Wall Pictionary??
1- Divide your class into two teams, Team A and Team B. Or, let them choose unique team names.
2- Clear off a large whiteboard space to play. I needed to use a large whiteboard that spanned just about an entire wall to make sure there would be enough room.
3- Select one person from Team A and one person from Team B to draw. Supply them with dry erase markers. Set a timer for two minutes. The Team A drawer selects one of the words and attempts to draw a picture to get their team to guess. Team B is not allowed to guess. If Team A guesses correctly before the timer goes off, they get a point. If they do not, erase, reset the timer, then allow the Team B drawer to draw with Team B allowed to guess. If they get it correct, they get a point. Go back and forth until one of the teams gets it correct.
4- Once a team gets the word correct, place the word above the picture. DO NOT ERASE the picture! Now you have a term and a picture on your wall. A picture that the students drew! This makes them more involved and makes this more memorable. This is why my word wall cards never have pictures. My students always did this 🙂
5- Keep playing and going through all word wall cards until you have a picture for each one. If a picture ends of being a bit sloppy, you can always ask them to re-draw it later.
You also don’t have to play this all in one class period! Break it up and play a little each day or as you have time. The goal is to have a complete word wall with pictures by the end of the unit.
I so wish I had taken a picture of this! If you play this and wouldn’t mind sharing your final product, I would love that. You can email pictures to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you use this idea, I hope you love it as much as I did!
All Things Algebra