Many Things Swim

Preschool bulletin boards are meant to be fun. Children should enjoy seeing them. Interactive bulletin boards will keep students watching the board for new additions and  changes. “Things that can swim” is an excellent theme for an interactive bulletin board. This bulletin board can be something the students look for a try to figure out, a puzzle. There are so many things that can swim the choices seem endless.

What do these particular things have in common? How are they alike? Each day a new picture appears on the board. Chances are if this is done correctly, many students will check out the bulletin board first thing everyday.

The background paper on this board should be a solid blue.  There should be no mention of swimming by the teacher.  The title of the bulletin board “Things that swim” should be totally covered in the beginning. The first day a cottonmouth goes on the board. Children will talk about snakes.

The next day there is a picture of a caribou. Many children may not be familiar with caribou. This is a great time for the teacher to get out a map and show the preschool students where caribou live. Talk about what they look like and what they eat.

A flock of geese arrive on the bulletin board on the third day.  It is nice to use the version where the geese are flying in V formation. It is an excellent time to tell the story of what happens when one of the geese gets sick and leaves the formation. They never are left alone, there is always another who stays behind.

Add a hippopotamus to the mix. This day the students can talk about Africa and zoos.

Now that there is a pattern of activity on the board learning just happens. After about a week uncover “Things that” and have the children start recognizing all the things that these creatures may have in common.  Some good conversation starters may be “Do all these things on the boards have eyes? Do all of these things on the board have wings? Are all of these things the same color? Do they all eat the same things?”

It is important to keep the game going only as long as the students are interested. If interest drops dramatically, put up the remainder of the pictures in one day and change the bulletin board.  

Here are the other choices that may be good options for the things that swim.
*water spiders
*polar bears
*crocodiles
*fish
*ducks
*children
*dogs
*cows
*elk
*horses
*alligators
*pelicans
*water moccasins
*whales
*frogs

For some classes it may be a good idea to put  up two items a day.  Judge the class and the level of interest. Remember every time there is a new picture there is an additional teaching moment.

This interactive bulletin board will teach a lot more that just what things can swim. They will learn critical thinking skills and a lot about very different animals.