The Word Wall teaching strategy creates a place in the classroom where students display the meanings of important ideas using words and pictures. As students encounter new vocabulary in a text or video, creating a word wall offers one way to help them comprehend and interpret ideas in the text. It is also an effective way for students keep track of new terms they’ve learned in a unit of study. Vocabulary terms that you might add to your class word wall include bystander, perpetrator, genocide, democracy, tolerance, nationalism, and prejudice.
Multiple Word Walls: It’s possible to post several class word walls at once, which can be organized in a variety of ways. For example, it would be interesting to create a word wall of Nazi euphemisms, or bureaucratic language used by the Nazi government to avoid directly stating what was happening to Jews and other targeted groups. This is a good example of words taking on new meanings—extermination, for instance, had a very specific connotation when used by the Nazis.