ELA bulletin boards can help students to understand content and reinforce practice. They can stress your messages, and they can build community. Once, I strove to change bulletin boards monthly, and that did not work due to a lack of time.
So now, my English bulletin boards are easily modified without completely changing all pieces. Most of the displays require student interactions too. Overall, the displays make my teaching better, my life easier, and my classes happier.
What types of information should be displayed on bulletin boards for high school students?
Bulletin boards for high school students should display a mix of informative and engaging content. This can include academic resources, inspirational quotes, student work, and relevant information about class.
A literary board is the perfect display for classes to build. Add a heading and let students add examples. The heading might be, “I Caught” or “Literature Around Every Corner.” The purpose of this bulletin board is for students to note references to literature outside of the classroom. Examples can be from social media, shows, movies, or books.
Next, I keep note pieces and markers next to the board, and I encourage students to write what they notice. They often add an idea on a sticky note, and I check the note for clarity. Such a board also keeps be updated with what students watch and find interesting.
Another option is to recommend books with “if you like ___,” then ___ “try this book___” pieces. After you recommend books, encourage classes to join in.
Writing Facts and English Language
We ELA teachers present writing, grammar, literary, and rhetorical devices to students. Lots of information! Sure, classes take notes and practice, but a display of the terms and examples allows reinforcement of the information. English language is complex, and reminders on a display help.
Take for example a concept like “cliche.” Young writers often use cliches (in abundance) even if they understand a cliche’s limitations to convey clear meaning. With the definition and lots of examples on display, simply reference the board during editing and revising sessions.
You can add posters from my writing bundle.
Vocabulary Word Wall—Printable Pieces
My favorite bulletin board for high school students is one that they make. When we work on vocabulary and grammar together, we practice words in a variety of ways. Sure, I want students to know the definition and the part of speech, but I also want them to use those words in their own writing, to understand the connotation, and to form varying versions.
You needn’t worry about making anything with a vocabulary word wall. Print out the pieces—they can be used with any set of vocabulary words. Distribute the frames and direct classes to engage with their vocabulary words. Ask them to:
- Define the word.
- Examine the connotation.
- Write a practice sentence.
- Manipulate the vocabulary word into a different part of speech.
With easy word wall pieces, students can add their creations to your vocabulary word wall. They will interact with a board they created.
No one can cover every author in class, but we English teachers hope to inspire as many readers as possible. Often, students need to see themselves represented in literature. You can see my design for such as ELA bulletin board that showcases a variety of authors. You can display authors in a variety of ways, some of which might be:
- Popular authors
- Authors as screenwriters
- Classroom library picks
- Monthly themes (June for Pride, for example)
- NYT Bestseller List
- Nobel, Pulitzer winners
Readers love to learn about new people and topics, and an ELA bulletin board that showcases your community’s interests will be worthwhile.
First Chapter Friday
I adore the community that my students and I build with First Chapter Friday. A fast ELA bulletin board is to display images of your books that you read every Friday. I quick picture or image from the Internet will do.
What I enjoy about this language arts bulletin board is that you can build it every Friday. Plus, you can visually relate to the stories you’ve covered as topics develop in class.
Unsuccessful Bulletin Boards
One time I had a high school bulletin board with a huge crossword puzzle using vocabulary words. It was fun, but my students wanted one for each chapter’s vocabulary. Blowing up the puzzle and with laminate (for multiple use) was costly, and since it was my money, I only did it once.
Another time, I did a “falling for books” display. It was too cutesy for older classes. The border was leaves, and I put book images at an angle, like they were falling. My high school classes did not interact with the board.
Finally, another failed display included a spooky October one. It failed to resonate with older classes. Reflecting, adding Poe or other mystery writers could have saved it.
Hopefully, you can learn from my failed experimentations!
Tips for a Pinterest Board
Ok: classroom decor is always on Pinterest, but older classes do not care about laminated letters or cutesy printables. Creating an effective display for high school students is tough. Student work, class topics, and books make the best bulletin boards for high school students.
Also, remember, the bulletin board needn’t be overwhelmed with decorations! Add butcher paper, a ribbon around the edge, and print posters. Finally, a great way to build community is to involve the students. Set up a small cart with sticky notes, markers, and push pins. Maybe the final product won’t belong on Pinterest, but your students will appreciate it.
Bulletin boards for high school students can be attractive and purposeful. With a bit of experimentation, you will find the perfect language arts bulletin boards that fit your community.
Do you need bulletin board ideas for middle school?