Lester teaches sight words with a Word Wall
Lester teaches sight words by presenting common words on a Word Wall. (Words such as come, the, this, is, and can are examples of sight words.) The sight words are grouped alphabetically in slot-like fashion (e.g., all the Aa-words, Bb-words, Cc-words, etc.). Lester reviews all the sight words daily by simply pointing to each word and saying each word aloud in unison with the children.
The Alternative Plan
Many children have learned well with this lesson. But those who continue to struggle need an alternative lesson plan as follows:
- Do not use the Word Wall for drilling or memorization.
Some children do not benefit from the Word Wall lesson because they are merely recognizing and memorizing the words instead of actually reading them by applying their letter-sound and phonic knowledge. For some children, memorized knowledge is not real knowledge that can be transferred to reading other words.
- Explore alternative arrangements of the words on the Word Wall.
The presentation of the sight words on the Word Wall (in slot-like fashion and grouped by letter) may be arbitrary to some children, and fail to help them in remembering the spellings of words. The teacher can arrange the words according to cognitive strategies that are more beneficial for the children in learning the words.
- Make sure the information does not appear random to the children.
Although some children may recognize the sight words on the Word Wall due to their daily repetition, the information appears random and they struggle to use each word in an actual reading or writing context. These children need methods that bridge the gap between the words on the chart and their use in real-life reading and writing activities.