Sound Wall Activities
Well, you did it! You created that beautiful sound wall. It’s a satisfying sight every morning when you walk into your classroom. It brings joy to your heart to see the perfectly laminated colors and pictures on your wall. But now what?
You may ask yourself, “How do I get my students to use this work of art instead of just blindly walking past it daily?” Well, I’m here with all the quick and fun activities to get your students to interact, utilize and learn from your sound wall! Bonus: these tips work for personal sound walls or sound wall bulletin boards. Let’s dive in! ⤵️
Sound Wall I Spy
Let me first say this: a fun pointer is an enticing way to help students buy into sound wall activities! I created the one above using a giant googly eye on the end of a ruler. You can create a class pointer that everyone shares or mini ones for individual students or small groups. In this instance, I like to use craft sticks and tiny googly eyes!
Once you have the pointers, it’s time to play I Spy. First, give the students a clue, such as “I spy a letter that says /a/.” Next, choose one student from the group to come up and point to the short “a” card! If you’re using personal sound walls, students can use their individual pointers to point to their answers on their own copy.
Finally, continue with more clues, such as: “I spy a…”
- digraph that says /sh/
- a vowel team that says /long e/ like the word “eat”
Students love the engagement of both using the pointers and trying to find out what their teacher is spying! Sound Wall I Spy is a great group or individual sound wall activity for every student.
If you’d love to try this game with your class, but the idea of creating a sound wall is overwhelming, I get it! You can check out this resource that has everything you need to create a kid-friendly sound wall that is perfect for your students.
The element of mystery in this next sound wall activity will suck students in every time, I promise!
To execute this activity, you’ll first want to grab a piece of cardstock and size it to fit over your word wall cards. Next, make sure to decorate it with lots of question marks. When it’s time to play, have your students cover their eyes while you place the mystery card over one of the cards on your word wall. Once you’ve hidden one, ask the students to open their eyes and guess which sound is hiding behind the mystery card!
If they need a little help, you can prompt them with clues that might sound like, “The mystery sound is the first sound you hear in the word ZIP.” Continue playing by moving the mystery card around the sound wall. To prompt even more engagement, you can allow the child who solved the mystery to place the mystery card for the next round!
Sound Wall Flashlight Tag
Who would ever have guessed that turning off the lights and handing kids mini flashlights could be THIS exciting? Kids love the Sound Wall Flashlight Tag game because it combines sensory fun with movement and the element of competition!
To play this game, you will want to flip off the lights and hand 2-4 students mini flashlights. After this, tell them the sound they are looking for on the sound wall. They then must use their flashlights to shine their lights on the matching sound! They love to see who can shine the fastest and bring the correct answer to light!
Once the sound has been found, students can pass their flashlight to another classmate to have a turn, and the game continues. You can also play this game with individual sound walls and finger flashlights for a twist! My Sound Wall with Mouth Pictures Bundle comes with a printable personal sound wall for students!
Sound Wall Mirrors
This sound wall activity is simple to do, but it greatly impacts students! You need a few hand mirrors if you’re doing this as a small group activity. If you want to play it as a class, you may want a class set!
To practice this activity, use one of your fun pointers to point to a sound on your sound wall. Allow the students time to make the sound and watch their mouths in the mirror as they do! Connecting the movement of their mouths with the sounds they are making is a great way to learn sounds!
Sound Wall Cards On-The-Go
Sound wall cards for on-the-go are a convenient way to take your sound practice on the road. (Or into the hallway, out to recess, or on the way to the cafeteria!) You can print an extra set of sound wall cards and repurpose them into a ring of cards for travel practice!
If students struggle with a sound, you can ask them to find that sound on the sound wall bulletin board to help reinforce the practice. I like to use these cards as a daily warm-up, during a small group intervention, while waiting in line, during unexpected transitions, and more! They are also great for substitutes to keep students calm and quiet in the above instances.
Phonics Sound Slides
You will love these digital wall slides if you’re looking for no-print sound wall activities or love the simplicity of pulling up digital practice! In this sound wall bundle, you will find hundreds of activities you can use year-round. You can fully customize the slides with your own pictures and words or use the ready-made slides for easy practice. There are over 400 slides, and this resource is designed to use with ANY reading or phonics curriculum.
I hope you’ve gotten some great ideas for utilizing that beautiful sound wall in your classroom. There are considerable benefits to having this visual up in your room year-round. If you still need to find the energy to create your own sound wall, or you need help figuring out where to start, this set has everything you need for quality phonics instruction in your classroom!
Once you’ve invested the time and energy to prepare a sound wall for your students, these activities will help you utilize it through engaging games that your kids will love. If you are looking for even more ideas, you can check out my previous blog post on this topic!
Do you know one of the most beautiful sounds in the world? Hearing your students laugh as they enjoy learning in your fun, creative classroom!