teaching resource

Sound Wall - Classroom Display

Teach Starter Publishing
PDF | 2 pages | Grades: PK - 3

Enhance your phonics program by displaying the phonemes your students are currently mastering with a beautiful Sound Wall Display.

Enhance your phonics program by displaying the phonemes your students are currently mastering. The display will enrich your students’ growing understanding of how our spoken language is recorded in print.

What Is a Sound Wall? 

A sound wall is an organized display of the sounds (phonemes) and their matching letters (graphemes) that we use in our language. While there are 26 letters in our alphabet, we use many different combinations of letters to write down (i.e. represent) the sounds in our speech.

The beauty of a sound wall is that it allows students to see the variety of ways to spell one sound, thus building a stronger understanding of spelling patterns.

A kindergarten sound wall makes an excellent and highly beneficial replacement for that classroom word wall. Give your readers a resource that they can actually use!

How Will I Use This Science of Reading Sound Wall Display?

While the English language includes more than 200 graphemes, we have carefully selected those graphemes (and their corresponding phonemes) that your students are most likely to come across in the primary classroom.

This sound wall consists of a display header and the following groups of sound wall cards:

  • consonants sound wall
  • short vowels sound wall
  • long vowels sound wall
  • other vowels sound wall

The graphemes included are:

Consonants: b, bb, c, ck, k, ch (choir), d, dd, f, ff, ph, g, gg, h, j, ge, dge, l, ll, m, mm, mb, n, nn, kn, gn, p, pp, qu, r, rr, wr, s, ss, ce, t, tt, v, ve, w, wh, x, y, z, zz, s (bugs), sh, ti, ci, ch (chef), ch (chair), tch, th (soft), th (hard), ng.

Short Vowels: a, e, ea (head), i, y (gym), o, a (swan), u.

Long Vowels: a_e, ai, ay, a (apron), ey, eigh, ea (leaf), ee, y (fly), i_e, ie, i, igh, o_e, oa, oe, o, ow (snow), u_e, u, oo (boot), ui, ew, ue.

Other Vowels: ar, or, ore, oor, er, ir, oi, oy, ow, ou), oo, air, are, ear, eer, ur,or, au, aw, a(ll).

As you introduce phonemes to your students, display the cards to form a wall. Typically, vowels are grouped together in one area of the display, and consonants are placed in another.

Each phoneme within a set is a specific color, e.g. all ā sounds are pink, all ē sounds are blue, etc. Display the various graphemes that represent the same sound together as a group, e.g. for the ĕ phoneme, place the ‘e’ as in ‘bed’ card with the ‘e’ as in ‘head’ card nearby.

Mix and match the components of the sound wall to suit your needs.

You will not only increase your students’ phonemic awareness with this colorful display, but you will be laying solid foundations for their decoding and spelling skills.

Want to see more examples of sound walls? Read our blog, Teachers Are Adopting Sound Walls Over Word Walls: Should You?

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