Middle school bulletin boards can be low-prep and meaningful.
When I taught middle school English, I wanted to change the bulletin board for every season. I justified that this change (which I often fell behind in!) helped to bridge the younger grade to older grade situation—the “middle” students found themselves in.
Sensible Middle School Bulletin Boards
Now, I use bulletin boards as community-building tools. These versatile displays offer teachers a powerful tool to enhance learning, create an inviting environment, and foster student engagement and ownership. An interesting bulletin board can create a community of learning and build on a middle school student’s learning experience. From introducing key concepts in English literature to encouraging creative writing, bulletin boards often serve as both a visual reminder and an invitation for students to explore topics more deeply. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of effective middle school bulletin board design with tips and tricks to help you make every single one eye-catching!
Below you will find some ways that bulletin boards can not only liven up classroom decor, but also become meaningful:
Word of the Week
First up: Create a “Words of the Week” bulletin board, highlighting a new word each week with its definition and a sentence example. Ask students to use the word in a sentence—perhaps write the word in a sentence and hang it. Utilize sticky notes and/or index cards for the students to write their examples and add them to the board all week. At the end of the week, have the students choose 3 of their favorite examples and copy them into their vocabulary journals.
You can even incorporate the Latin or Greek roots within the word, the prefix or suffix, and possibly even synonyms and antonyms as well.
Another low-prep bulletin board includes displaying student creativity. Incorporate student artwork into the bulletin board display by having students draw illustrations to represent different literary elements, grammar coloring sheets, or vocabulary words. This involvement brings instant ownership when work they have done and self-selected is added to a display.
An easy addition: during a vocabulary lesson, give each student a piece of paper for them to create a graffiti drawing of the word. Add the graffiti words to the bulletin board.
Build a word wall that uses words from the current unit you and your students are working on. A cumulative vocabulary word wall of words that your students have learned throughout the year is a great alternative to a test.
Another word wall concept might be words that the students come up with (from life for from independent reading) that they either struggle with or words they find interesting. Again, the community-building aspect is more important than the “prettiness” of the bulletin board. What the students create is meaningful.
Utilize the opinions of the students in your classroom by incorporating a book recommendation board. This board could include pictures of books they recommend along with reasons why someone would want to read it. I’ve seen book recommendation boards with a mixture of teacher recommendations and student recommendations.
Sometimes asking coaches or other administrators what they like to read can even be engaging to students!
In conclusion, language arts teachers are able to deck out their bulletin boards with interesting and creative ideas that their students will appreciate. Whether it’s word of the week boards, student artwork, word walls, or book recommendations, there are plenty of ways to make sure your bulletin board stands apart from all the rest. Not only does the bulletin board become an entertaining and educational tool for the classroom, but it also serves as a visual reminder of what hard work looks like in the classroom setting.
So why not take your bulletin board to another level this school year? Get inspired by some discussion topics, student activities or independent reading into the mix. What seems like the easiest, low-prep bulletin board for you? Give it a try and see how far creative thinking can take your classroom.
Do you need bulletin board ideas for high school?