Monday, February 7, 2022


The teaching world is abuzz with sound walls at the moment and for good reason too! Sound walls are heavily aligned with the Science of Reading and are one of the most useful displays that you can have in your classroom. I’m excited to share the NEW Sound Wall that I have just created as well as more details about how sound walls work, plus reasons why all early elementary grades absolutely need them.



What is a sound wall? 

Let’s first dive into what exactly a sound wall is. The current norm is to display alphabet posters that have a total of 26 sounds, however in contrast, a sound wall organizes and displays the different sounds or phonemes that we hear in speech. For example, the phoneme ‘r’ can be represented by the graphemes r, wr, rr and rh. When sounds are organized this way, it becomes much easier for students to utilize this knowledge when reading and spelling words.


Sound walls are displayed in two sections; a vowel section and a consonants section. The sections are commonly displayed side by side.

The vowel section, known as a vowel valley due to its shape, is displayed in a particular order to demonstrate the gradual change in mouth shape as you read through the phonemes.


The consonants section is organized a little differently; the phonemes are organized by the manner of articulation which relates to how sounds are made using the mouth. For example, p, b, t, d, k and g are known as ‘STOPS’ because when each of these phonemes are said aloud, the vocal tract shuts, the air pressure builds up and is then released in a short burst.