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IDEAS FOR BULLETIN BOARDS

Are you out of bulletin board ideas? Below are some ideas that will work for almost any classroom, any subject, and any grade level. Most of the ideas I borrowed from other teachers. I thank them for their creativity.

Backgrounds Borders
Tips for Organizing Bulletin Board Materials  

 

What Are the Six Traits of Writing? Groundhog Day
Breaking Down the Walls At a Glance
In the News The Rules of the Game
Computer Information Schedules and Calendars 
Baby Pictures Trivia Contest
Question of the Week Riddles and Jokes
Communications Map Puzzle -- First Day Activity
What's Great About This Team? Step Into a Good Book
Recommended Reading Oh, The Places You'll Go! 
Our Feature Attraction A New Twist to a New Year
Remember This? Put Your Best Foot Forward
The Birthday Board Who is Your Teacher?
Reflections Does History Repeat Itself?
What's In Your Pot of Gold? How is Your Team Doing?

 

Resources for Bulletin Boards Cheap Bulletin Board Materials
Other Bulletin Board Sites Cheap Bulletin Board Trimmers
   

 

Backgrounds

Are you tired of the same background for your bulletin board? Do you need a fresh idea? You've come to the right place. Below is a list of new ideas for covering a bulletin board. Most of the materials can be cut for borders as well. Also, some of the materials (even fabric) can be laminated for die cutting letters and shapes.

bulletSheets of scrapbooking paper
bulletCurtains -- either flat or on a curtain rod to draw attention to the bulletin board
bulletPictures of former students
bulletMagazine pages
bulletOld greeting cards
bulletPicture post cards
bulletCalendar pages or pictures
bulletBook covers
bulletPages from old textbooks 
bulletPages from old encyclopedias
bulletFabric -- check the remnant bin for bargains
bulletA tablecloth
bulletWrapping paper
bulletNewspaper
bulletComic pages
bulletWall paper
bulletA sheet
bulletFelt
bulletA shower curtain
bulletPaint -- don't forget the stencils

 

bulletCover a bulletin board with outdoor artificial grass carpeting. It may be bought at any home improvement center by the yard in different colors and is inexpensive. It's lightweight enough it can be easily stapled to the board and it will stay. Back your lettering, pictures, etc. with felt and they will stick like magic to the artificial grass. This idea works well for interactive bulletin boards. For example, you may use it for "magnetic poetry," or for a review game like "Eduball," an interactive football game for reviewing test material, or for teaching geometry, allowing students to manipulate the geometric shapes. It's a flannel board for older students. My sixth grade students have enjoyed it and have never thought it was babyish.

 
bulletSubmitted by T. Drew-McKennon, NC

What Are the Six Traits of Writing?

Create a bulletin board to show what teachers look for in good writing.  Use the posters (PDF) that I have created and are free for you to download.  The set consists of a title poster and one for each trait, including the seventh trait of presentation.

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What Are the Six Traits of Writing

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Ideas & Content

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Organization

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Voice

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Word Choice

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Sentence Fluency

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Conventions

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Presentation

Groundhog Day

Create a  bulletin board to get your students excited about Groundhog Day.  Pam Cooley did, and "it has really gotten the kids excited about Phil's prediction.  We change the "Do Not Disturb" sign daily as we count down the days 'til Feb. 2nd.  I plan to put a big "Phil" coming out of his hill along with or without his shadow (whatever the case may be) on Feb. 2nd."

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Submitted by Pam Cooley/Sugar Creek Elementary/New Palestine, Indiana

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Pictures of Pam's bulletin board

Breaking Down the Walls/Barriers

Use a background that looks like bricks.  You can draw your own or use clipart if you can't find wallpaper, paper, or fabric.  Some of the bricks need to stick out further than the rest.  You can do this by cutting a brick that is exactly the same as the one that you want to stick out.  Put foam or layers of paper behind it to make it stick out about an inch or so.  On every brick that is sticking out, put a word or phrase on it that is something the students need to overcome.  Some examples appear below.  Choose terms that will inspire discussion.  For the title, paint (or draw) it on the bricks so that it looks like graffiti.

bulletPeer pressure
bulletDrug abuse
bulletViolence
bulletBullying
bulletBad grades
bulletTardiness
bulletAbsenteeism

At a Glance

For this bulletin board, you need giant plastic sunglasses.  You could also use clipart to print large sunglasses onto cardstock.  The content of the board could be anything--birthdays, rules, upcoming units, interesting books, etc.  

 

In the News

If your local newspaper covers your school pretty regularly, cut out the articles about your students and place them on a bulletin board.  You can do the same thing if your school has its own newspaper.  I now teach at a high school, and I do this for my ESL students.  I only have two articles on it right now, but I'm sure by the end of the year, I will have several.  Also, I only have one bulletin board in my room, and it is being used for something else.  I am using the closet door for this bulletin board.

 

The Rules to the Game Bulletin Board

This idea works well for P.E. games and sports.  Use playing cards (front side up) as a border.  For the title, put one letter on the back of a playing card.  Or find clipart in the shape of playing cards.  

bulletSee an example of this bulletin board..
bulletSubmitted by
Tayisha M. Nelson
Richland Community College
Student Support Service/TRIO
Academic Advisor

Computer Information Bulletin Board

If you have a computer or two in your room, consider this idea. It can be left up all year with changes as necessary. Create a bulletin board with any of the following:

bulletYour computer policy or rules
bulletBasic directions or hints for special programs
bulletDirections for printing
bulletA rotation schedule for students or groups
bulletA sign up list for computer use, such as publishing
bulletNewspaper or magazine articles about computer technology, especially what is available in your classroom

Schedules and Calendars Bulletin Board

Make a bulletin board for all of the schedules and calendars you usually file away or have on your desk. This idea is so simple, it often gets overlooked. I change the background and border, but I never take it down because it is the one bulletin board my students use every day. I call mine "For Your Information." Below is a list of schedules and calendars I post on my bulletin board.

bulletSchool calendar
bulletDaily schedule
bulletBlock schedule (I teach at a high school that uses block scheduling.)
bulletMonthly lunch menu
bulletMonthly calendar of activities
bulletCalendar for students' birthdays

Baby Pictures Bulletin Board

Collect baby pictures and current pictures from your students. Place the baby pictures down one side of the bulletin board and the current pictures down the other side. Give each baby picture a number and each current picture a letter. Have a contest to see who can correctly match the pictures.

A variation is to do this with pictures of the staff and faculty on a bulletin board that the whole school can access. This is guaranteed to be a hit with the students.

bulletSpecial Note:  Be aware of any students who may have been adopted and those who do not have baby pictures for other reasons.  

Trivia Contest Bulletin Board

This bulletin board will change weekly. On Monday, post five to ten trivia questions for the students to answer. The questions can be related to your current topic or theme or be from current events in the news. Place a box or can with a slit in the lid near the bulletin board. The students are to write the answers to the questions and their name on a slip of paper and put it in the box by Friday.

Throw out papers without names or with incorrect answers. From the remaining papers, draw three to five and award small prizes. Throw away all of the slips of paper and begin fresh for the next week's contest.

Question of the Week Bulletin Board

Cover a bulletin board with blank butcher paper. At the top, write a thought provoking question. Let the students write their thoughts on the paper in their free time. They will also want to read what others have written.

Some possible questions include the following:

bulletWhat would you do with a million dollars?
bulletWhat is your favorite book or author?
bulletWhat is the perfect pet?
bulletHow could we improve our school?
bulletWhat would you like to ask President Clinton?
bulletWho has the best job?
bulletWhat makes a good friend?
bulletWhat makes our town great?
bulletWhat will you be doing in 25 years?
bulletWhat do you already know about (upcoming lesson topic)?
bulletWhat do you want to know about (upcoming lesson topic)?

Riddle and Joke Bulletin Board

Cover a bulletin board with blank butcher paper and invite the students to add riddles and jokes.

Below is a list of possible titles.

bulletRiddle Me This, Riddle Me That (from Batman)
bulletCan You Make Us Laugh?
bulletLaughter: The Best Medicine (from Readers' Digest)
bulletHave You Heard These?

Communications Map Bulletin Board

If you are communicating with others by email or snail mail, post a map appropriate to the locations. As mail comes in, put a marker on the map to indicate where the mail originated. Your students will enjoy being able to visualize the locations of their pen pals.

If you are receiving post cards, the post cards can be used to create the border for this bulletin board.

Would you like more ideas for a postcard exchange?

Puzzle Bulletin Board and First Day Activity

Cut poster board or railroad board into the same amount of puzzle pieces as you have students. Be sure to mark the wrong side for ease in putting the puzzle back together. As the students come in, give them a puzzle piece and instructions to draw or paste pictures on it that represent the student. Instruct students to also include their names. When everyone is finished, the students are to put the puzzle back together and staple their pieces in the correct position on the bulletin board.

Create a puzzle piece for yourself in advance to use as an example and staple it to the board as the first piece of the puzzle. You may also want to leave a few blank pieces for students who arrive later in the year.

Below are some possible titles:

bulletWe All Fit In
bulletOur Team (or Class) Fits Together
bulletEveryone Here Fits In
bulletWithout You, Our Class (or Team) Would Be Incomplete

What's Great About This Team? Bulletin Board

At the end of the year, have the students write statements on colored index cards explaining what is great about the team (or class.) Make sure the students sign their names. Save them for the next year. When the new school year starts, post the cards on the bulletin board. The new students will enjoy reading the comments and it will set a tone for what they can expect.

Step Into a Good Book Bulletin Board

Give each student a cut-out of a foot or shoe. Have the students write the title and author of book they recommend others read on the cut-out. They should also sign their names to their suggestions.

Recommended Reading Bulletin Board

Create a bookshelf background for a bulletin board. Give each student a cut-out of a book spine. Have the students write the title and author of book they recommend others read on the cut-out. They should also sign their names to their suggestions.

Oh, The Places You'll Go Bulletin Board

Cut out pictures of places, real or imaginary, from magazines and laminate them.  You can also print pictures from the Internet. Put them on a bulletin board with the above caption. 

bullet You could leave it like this, or have students add captions to the pictures that say, "I read the book _____________________, by ____________________, and it took me here:"  

bulletYou could also add a map of the world and use yarn to draw a line from the picture to its location on the map. For places not on the map, add a "map" (picture) for outer space.  If it is an imaginary place that can't be added to a real map, perhaps there is a map in the book itself that you could copy and use.  

Our Feature Attraction Bulletin Board

This bulletin board is the springboard for a theater theme.

bulletFor the border, place movie ticket stubs on 2-3" strips of construction paper and laminate the strips. Ask your local theater for discarded movie ticket stubs. If you tell them what you want them for they may save some for you.  You can also print your own using clipart from the Internet.
bulletThe caption for the bulletin board should read "Our Feature Attraction is _______________________________________" Fill in the blank with the title of you unit, theme, or lesson. An example could be The Parts of Speech.
bulletYou could add a subheading that says, "Starring ________________ and _______________________. In the blanks list your subunits or topics relating to your unit. Examples could be Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, etc.
bulletAdd pictures to help illustrate your unit. Arrange them as if they were part of a movie poster.
bulletYou could also add cut-outs of cameras, tripods, theater screens, etc. An unrolled roll of film would also be a nice touch.  You can find clipart on the Internet that would be perfect.
bulletYou can find free downloadable Lights, Cameras, Action Fonts that are perfect for creating the title at Fonts & Things.

A New Twist to a New Year Bulletin Board

For a beginning of the year bulletin board, use the game board for a Twister game as the background. Put the spinner on as well, with the words "A new twist to a new year." Add cut-out feet and hands with the students' names on them. It is very colorful!

bulletsubmitted by Dawn/5th/MO

Put Your Best Foot Forward in __________ Bulletin Board

Another idea for using a Twister game is to use the game board as the background.  Use the spots for different units you will do throughout the year.  

bulletFor a picture of how this was used in PE, click here.
bulletsubmitted by Coach Myers/PE/SC

Remember This? Bulletin Board

This bulletin board is very simple. Cover the bulletin board with a background that will work all year because you won't be changing this one. Put up the title and you are ready for the first day. Take pictures of class activities during the year and post them on the bulletin board. Add some funny captions and you have an instant, permanent bulletin board. At the end of the year, let the students take home their favorite pictures.

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I stole this idea from my good friend Tracee, who doesn't mind.

Who is Your Teacher? Bulletin Board

This bulletin board is about you, the teacher.  Choose a background and border that represent your personality.  Collect pictures, clip art, book covers, etc. that show your interests.  Laminate them and post them on the bulletin board.  Let your students ask you questions about the items on the board.

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I borrowed this idea from my good friend Midge, who doesn't mind.

The Birthday Board

At our school we have a bulletin board in the hall that we call "The Birthday Board".  Every 2nd month a member of our PTO gets the names of the students who have birthdays in those two months and comes up with a theme for the board.  They then write the name and birth date of the student on whatever they've come up with to use with the theme and post them on the board.  For example:  We started with the saying "It "Snow" Secret It's Your Birthday! and wrote each of the children's names and birth dates on a snowflake.  We made the background a winter theme.

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Submitted by Sue Melbourn/Deerpath School, Cary, IL

Reflections

Place those junk mail CD's upside down on a bulletin board using straight pins to pin them on. Place them close together in rows to form a wall of  CD's. They are like a mirror and reflect the images in the room. Looks really cute in a computer lab or technology corner. You can caption it if you wish.
  

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Submitted by Pam/Clovis, NM/Computer Lab

Does History Repeat Itself? Bulletin Board

I used pictures of King George of England, George Washington, and George W. Bush.  The caption was "From George to George to George -- Does History Repeat Itself?"

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Submitted by Mick Paulus -- SVHS Department Head -- Perryville, Missouri 

What's in Your Pot of Gold? Bulletin Board

For St. Patrick's Day I covered a bulletin board with paper clouds and wrote the students' names on them. Next to each cloud I put a colorful rainbow and next to it a paper box that represents the pot of gold. Inside the box I put weekly quotes for each of my students. 
          

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Ina/Western Maryland College


How is Your Team Doing? Bulletin Board

Use artificial turf for a football or soccer background and tile Contact Paper or peel-and-stick flooring that looks like hardwood for a basketball court.  Place team scores on the board.

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For examples of this bulletin board, click here.

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Submitted by Coach Myers/PE/SC

 

2/9/2004

This page is part of a professional development article at Education World.  Visit From "Pretty" to Practical: Using Bulletin Boards to Teach by Cara Bafile for more ideas.

National Education Association

9/2003

This page was included in the September 2003 issue of NEA Today.  Visit Resources for more information. 

9/26/2000

This page is part of a curriculum article at Education World.  Visit Your Search for Bulletin Board Ideas is Over by Gary Hopkins for more ideas.  

Teacher Tool of the Week

7/24/2000

This page was honored with a special award from About.com Elementary Educators.

 

 

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