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Writing word banks: Why and how you should use them

  • by: Anna from Pobble
  • On: 19, Oct 2021
28 min read

In my previous role as a HLTA supporting SEN and EAL learners at an Enhanced Mainstream School, a huge priority was placed on using word banks because of their huge potential when supporting young writers. 

Word banks are a written list of key subject-specific vocabulary words or phrases for students to draw from when they’re writing. They’re a simple, yet powerful teaching resource that familiarises pupils with a specific group of words and help promote independent work.

At Pobble, we believe children learn best when they are empowered with additional materials to support them with their writing. With that in mind, we've harnessed the power of word banks. On Pobble, you can find a selection of ready-made word banks, we've added these to lots of our premium lessons to support your teaching. We've also built a unique tool that allows you to quickly generate a colourful word bank yourself or easily edit Pobble Word Banks before printing and sharing with your class.

Word bank 3-pngThe benefits of word banks ✏️

Most students, especially younger and more reluctant writers, can find it challenging to include specific details in their writing. Word banks can be used to enhance writing lessons and their versatility means they can be used for a variety of subjects. They offer many benefits to teachers and pupils alike, including:

  • Vocabulary development - Word banks make it simple and exciting for pupils to discover new, creative and vivid vocabulary and then use these new words in their work; increasing and building on their vocabulary.
  • Enable independent learning – Providing a Word Bank for students to use alongside their writing increases pupils’ independence. They can refer to the word bank if they’re unable to recollect the spelling of a particular word or if they need some vocabulary inspiration, rather than rely on teacher support frequently.
  • Spelling support – As well as having spellings of keywords on hand, having a Word Bank introduces students to a strategy for checking the spelling of unknown words and allows them to begin editing their work.
  • Creating confident writers – developing new vocabulary words, learning new spellings and working more independently improves writing confidence. Word Banks give pupils the confidence to develop their writing styles and become self-assured young writers. 
How to use word banks in your class 💡

Word Banks are simple to create and print to support your writing lessons, but there are many other ways you could use them to support your teaching. Check out these ideas:

  • Writing warm-ups - Brainstorm and generate word ideas as a class before inputting the words into a Word Bank for the class to use in their writing. This allows for every student to have an opportunity to speak, listen to others ideas and read and write new words related to their topic.
  • Create your own – Ask your pupils’ to create their own word banks on your class topic. They can look in books, magazines, online, watch videos or speak to friends and family then write down words they would like to use in their writing. A perfect homework task!
  • A classroom word book – every time you create a new Word Bank, print it out and combine it with others to create a word book. Your class can pick it up and have a flick through whenever they need some vocabulary inspiration.
  • Word walls – As you work on a piece of writing, ask pupils’ to write any exciting, vivid or powerful words on a post-it note and add it to your classroom word wall. That way you build up a word bank collaboratively and students have quick access to the spelling of a word or vocabulary ideas while they are writing.
Easily create wonderful word banks to enhance your writing lessons on Pobble. Find out how here. 

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