Bulletin boards have become an expected part of a classroom and can serve a variety of purposes. They can be whimsical, engaging, thought-provoking, or informative. They can introduce a new topic, show current events, or be used to display student work. The first bulletin board typically welcomes students back to school and gives them an idea of what to expect.
If you teach the same group of students every day, one way to welcome them back is to have their names displayed on the bulletin board. Names can be written on individual die cuts or around the border.
For a simple bulletin board that introduces topics for the year, cover the board with a solid color and cut out an image of a head with a quizzical expression. You can print a clip art image from your computer or draw it yourself on colored paper. Next, cut out multiple white thought bubbles—one large and a few small ones. On the large bubble, write or type “I Wonder…,” and on the smaller bubbles have science questions that will be answered throughout the year.
Another idea to display what to expect is to title the board “Serving up a Great Year.” Post an image of a chef or waiter and include a menu of topics that will be covered. “This Year’s Specials” can be fun classroom activities and “Desserts” can be field trips or other special days. This theme works especially well if nutrition or food science is the first topic you will be teaching.
For a bulletin board suitable for high school, consider making a giant job posting. Job description: In search of students who are curious and daring. Previous experience with flammable chemicals not required. Training will be provided. Must be willing to begin work immediately. Compensation of good grades will be based on job performance.
Many back to school bulletin boards focus on the first lesson with a catchy phrase and colorful images. If you will be teaching about clouds, birds, hot-air balloons, or other sky-related items, the title can be “Soaring High in the 2nd Grade.” Just substitute the grade you are teaching. For lessons about Autumn or the seasons, the title can be “Falling into Science” with an image or a tree losing its leaves.
For a special treat the first week of school, teach your students how to make ice cream. Have an image of a huge ice cream cone on the bulletin board with the phrase “Here’s the Scoop – 5th Grade is a Real Treat.”
If you will be covering animals first, the board could be titled “Quack, Quack. Welcome Back” or “Hog Wild for Science.” For large, fierce animals, there is “Sink Your Teeth into Science.” Other catchy phrases are “Blast off into Science” for outer space, “Diving into Science” for an ocean theme, or “Exploding with Excitement” for a lesson on volcanoes.
Any of the themes mentioned here can become interactive by adding a fact or question that is changed every day. You can use the bulletin board in your lessons by requiring the students to answer the question each day or offering a prize to the student who answers it first.
Bulletin boards can be as simple or intricate as you want them to be. Begin by deciding on the purpose of your board, and then choose a theme.