Looking for free/inexpensive materials that’ll bring life to drab classroom walls and bulletin boards? (Yes, I’m assuming we’ll have some sort of physical space to share with students this fall.) Let’s get scrolling…
1. This Day in Arts & Letters
How about a digital poster that changes every day? This collection of 366 fun facts and/or important dates from the worlds of literature, film, music, and art was designed to provide students daily inspiration to learn more about the historic and pop culture references that are meaningful to most American adults they will encounter in future workplace environments.
As students arrive to class, you may wish to have the daily slide projected for them to read and discuss on their own. If you have time at the beginning or end of the period to devote to a sponge conversation, you might ask what students already know about the featured person, work, or event. You may also want to encourage students to research the subject further for a few minutes and share their findings with the class.
2. Famous Failures Interactive Bulletin Board
Life is hard and we will fail. It’s what we do next that determines the quality of our lives. That’s the message I hope kids take from this bulletin board that celebrates the growth mindset of famous figures who weren’t defeated by early failures. My kids liked the first set of 24 and asked for more, so I built a second set available here.
3. Epic Opening Lines
You know when you read the first paragraph of a novel and can’t help but keep going? Yeah, I turned that experience into a bulletin board designed to introduce teens to a variety of books/authors. You know it’s a good display when kids show up at the next SSR Friday with one of these titles.
4. Great Last Lines
This companion to the Epic Opening Lines board was inspired by Pudge, the protagonist of John Green’s Looking for Alaska who’s a bit obsessed with the last words of famous people. I thought, A lot of books do a great job with this, too. The result? Another interactive bulletin board to promote great books to our kids.
5. Parts of Speech Posters
I knew I was in trouble when I used the word, “adverb,” during a MUG Shot Monday grammar session and my freshmen stared back with cold, dead eyes. Yes, they’d been taught the parts of speech since elementary school, but retention was…um…weak. I went looking for a set of parts of speech posters to refer to during our grammar work, but everything I found was super babyish, nothing I’d post on my high school English classroom walls. The fix? I made my own and you can have ’em, too.
6. Inspirational Quotes/Conversation Starters
I prefer to use these as scrolling screensavers on classroom computers, but you could also print them in color and cover an ugly corner of your classroom.
7. The Movie vs. The Book Posters
Just a really cool poster. I love these. I printed the 18 x 24-inch option at our district’s media center and laminated them. They’ve lasted for years.
8. Tearable Puns
Teens pretend to hate puns, but evidence shows they actually love them because these Tearable Pun slips disappear quickly and I spot them being used as bookmarks and binder decoration. I have 101 teen-appropriate puns on nine PDF pages. Print a bunch on different colored paper because your kids are going to go through a lot of ’em.
Alright, friends! No matter what your fall semester looks like, I hope these items make whatever physical space you’re given a bit more inviting. Teach on, everyone.
Bulletin board background credit: Pixabay, Public domain