W is an important letter. Even though it's at the end of the alphabet, it's found in some pretty important words, including the famous 5 W's (who, what, where, when, and why). Incorporate more W words for kids into your vocabulary lists with these helpful W word lists. Alongside each group of words is a worthwhile set of classroom activities and printables.
For pre-literate youngsters, studying vocabulary has one all-important goal: make the link between the W sound, spoken and heard, and the letter W written on the page. We've emphasized concrete, vivid concepts to help your youngest students make that connection in this word list.
- Wag: To wiggle back and forth, as a dog's tail
- Was: Past tense of "is"
Wax: Soft yellow substance bees use to make hives, or any substance like it used by humans
- Way: A path to follow
- Web: Connected strings made with spider's silk
- Wee: Very small
- Wet: To be soaked in water
- Wig: A head covering that looks like hair
- Win: To succeed at something, especially a contest
- Won: Past tense of "win"
- Wow: A word that expresses surprise
Our letter W activity for preschool and kindergarten students is designed to help young students connect the written word with spoken language even before they're reading. We've developed a trace-the-letter activity for your preschool and kindergarten students so they have a clear feel for the letter W.
Add these kindergarten-level W words to your list of sight words. They include words with common consonant blends and vowel teams. Kindergartners are likely to encounter these words in their storybooks as well as your vocabulary list.
- Wail: High-pitched, lingering scream
- Wait: To pause before something happens
- Wall: Flat surface used to support a ceiling
- Walk: To take steps, slower than a run
- Wake: To stop sleeping
- Want: To desire something you don't have
- War: The state of fighting or battling
- Warm: Not cold, comfortably heated
- Warn: To caution someone about something that's about to happen
- Wasp: A stinging, flying insect
- Weak: Not strong
- Week: Seven days, Sunday through Saturday
- Went: Past tense of "go"
- Wife: A woman married to a partner
- Wild: Not tame, living outside
- Wing: Part of an animal or vehicle that lets it fly
- Wind: Moving air
- Wise: Having good judgment or sense
- Wish: A dream or desire
- Wit: Cleverness
- Woke: Past tense of "wake"
- Wood: Substance that makes up the trunks and branches of trees
Word: Group of letters that has meaning when spoken or written
- Work: To perform a job
- World: Where we all live; a planet
- Worm: An invertebrate with no legs that lives in soil
Work on W words even more with a fun, colorable printable! Kindergartners identify six things that start with W and draw lines between them and the correct word. It's a great addition to a homework packet or small group activity.
W words for kids matching activityClick to View & Download
As your students begin to read, providing them with W words they recognize is vital. Nothing reinforces vocabulary like proof, printed clear on a page, that these words are real and used. Check out a list of W words for kids in first and second grades that includes interrogative pronouns and words with a silent "w."
- Walrus: A large sea mammal with tusks
- Wander: To travel without a destination in mind
- Wary: Careful, suspicious
- Watch: To keep an eye on something, or a clock worn on the wrist
- Water: Liquid H2O that fills oceans, lakes and rivers, the basis of life on earth
- Weather: The climate conditions outside
- Well: Deep hole dug to find water
Whale: Large mammal that lives in the ocean
- What: Which thing
- When: At what point in time
- Where: In what location
- Which: Among this set of possibilities, what thing
- While: Short but uncertain period of time
- White: A very light color; the opposite of black
- Who: What person
- Why: For what reason, toward what goal
- Weird: Strange, unusual
- Whoop: To cry out in happiness, to yell
- Wine: Alcoholic drink made from grapes
- Winter: The coldest season of the year
- Wire: Long thin strand of metal, often used to transmit electricity
- Witch: A fairy tale villain who can perform magic
- Woe: Deep sadness
- Woman: A female adult
- Wonder: To think about, consider
- Wool: Fluff sheared from sheep, used to make cloth
- Wound: Injury where skin is typically broken or torn
- Wrap: To cover an object in something
- Wreck: To crash, to destroy completely
- Write: To put words on a page
- Wrong: Incorrect, not right
- Wry: Snide or sarcastic
The question words (what, when, where, who and why) can still be tricky at this age. We've crafted an activity to help. Using the downloadable PDF below, your students will be able to write and read a story based on the five fundamental question words.
Letter w quizClick to View & Download
Early elementary is a very visual age. Linking images to concepts — pictures or videos of whales, wombats and sheep-shearing go a long way with students this age — will help build a foundation of literacy. Bring in items that connect with your W words for kids, and see how many learners can pair them to their correct labels.
Third, fourth and fifth grade should be the beginning of moving beyond rote vocabulary exercises and into the larger context of language. We've chosen our upper elementary W words to suit that goal.
- Waist: The middle of a person's body
- Waive: To excuse or dismiss something
- Wallaby: An Australian animal, similar to a kangaroo
- Waltz: A formal dance
- Warble: The sound of a bird
- Wardrobe: Collection of clothes, or a piece of furniture for holding clothes
- Warehouse: Large open building used to store goods
- Warlord: The military leader of an aggressive country
- Warning: Statement of danger given to someone else
- Warren: Complex of tunnels dug by animals, such as rabbits
- Wary: Cautious or nervous
- Waste: To not use a resource well
- Wealthy: Rich
- Wedding: Event where two people get married
- Whimsical: Magical or creative
- Whisper: To speak quietly so as not to be overheard
- Wicked: Evil or cruel
- Widow: A woman whose husband has died
- Widower: A man whose wife has died
- Width: A measurement that indicates how wide an object is
- Wildlife: Animals that naturally live in a particular area
- Willow: Deciduous tree with branches that often droop down
- Window: An opening in a wall, usually covered in glass
- Wizard: A magician
- Wobble: To rock unsteadily from side to side
- Wombat: Small furry Australian mammal
- Workout: Set of physical activities meant to improve one's health
- Worry: To fret about, to have concern for
- Worthy: To have earned, to be worth something
- Wrinkle: A crease or line
Our lists of W words are designed to help your students share and connect their experiences. Encourage them to identify animals that are part of the local wildlife. Ask them for situations in which it's appropriate to whisper. Show them pictures of animal warrens: rabbits, moles, badgers, or naked mole rats if you'd like. It's all about connecting language to the world at large.
If you want to reinforce W words and parts of speech at the same time, encourage upper elementary readers to play charades. They can choose from a number of verbs that start with W to act out in front of the class. Or, for higher-level readers, have them use a list of adjectives that start with W for their classmates to guess.
For all that W occupies a curious space in our language, it's key to some of our most basic vocabulary. These W word lists are designed to help elementary students of all ages get to grips with that vocabulary in ways that make sense to them.
Willing to wage a war against waning words? You can find even more choices for vocabulary lists in WordFinder's list of words that start with the letter W. Fill out the advanced search fields to sort by word length and letters included. It's a win-win! For more enriching vocabulary, take a look at our words that start with X, Y and Z. There's more to them than x-rays, yo-yos and zebras!