I’m just not crafty. Sure, I can design a website (hello there, gorgeous) and know my way around Photoshop, but hot glue guns and chevron fabric terrify me. My 7th grade home-ec circular pillow turned out to be an amoeba. On occasion, I’ve used duct tape to hang curtains. And every time I move, my sister visits right away so she can rearrange my furniture. (Annoyingly, her way is always better, but we’re talking about a woman who sewed her own beyond-beautiful wedding dress. Seriously. She sees things in a way I cannot.)
So when it’s time to decorate my classroom, I’m usually at a loss. I have a few stock posters and a ton of previous students’ work that I post along my back row of cabinets, but I wanted something fresh this fall. What to do? Turn to the Google machine, of course. Inspired by librarian Sarah Brown, I built Epic Opening Lines, a bulletin board creation that requires no crafty talents whatsoever.
I’ve taken great opening lines from 30 classic and contemporary novels to show kids how we can be hooked with just a sentence or two. Students know a few of the lines, but they’re also introduced to talented writers they don’t yet know. Who knows? One of these just might become someone’s next SSR grab.
Want to create a board of your own? It’s super-easy!
Stuff you’ll need:
This free PDF of print-and-go materials
Colored and white printer paper
1. Print pages 2–31 of this PDF on brightly colored paper and fold at the marked seam.
2. Print pages 32–39 on white paper and cut into quarters as marked.
3. Tape (or glue) the answer quarter-sheets inside the fold of each correlating quote sheet. I prefer tape because glue sticks tend to give up their sticky over time and, let’s face it, this display will probably remain posted quite a while before I have time to circle back around and redecorate.
4. Staple to a cork wall (or tape to a standard wall) and enjoy. (Yes, I repurposed leftover pink-blue-green garland. Gotta use what you got, right?)
Also, don’t be shy to ask some student volunteers for help; they’ll likely be very happy to build this for you. Let’s delegate, people.
Hope your school year has launched nicely and that you’re close to memorizing all of those new names. Teach on, everyone!
Book/heart image used with permission: Vlastimil Koutecky, Flickr, CC2.0