Better Bulletin Boards!

Bul­letin boards are a great way to exhibit stu­dent art through­out the year, and let the world (or at least your school) see what your stu­dents have been up to. Use bul­letin boards to teach a con­cept, tell a story, share a mes­sage, or just brighten everyone’s day! (The bul­letin board above, cre­ated with oil pas­tels by my 3rd graders, is one of my all-time favorites.… it even won 1st place at our County Fair!)
Fol­low these tips for “Bet­ter Bul­letin Boards”.…
1. Get cre­ative! Think beyond just the obvi­ous pur­pose of dis­play­ing stu­dent work. Include an expla­na­tion of what your stu­dents learned and give your view­ers the oppor­tu­nity to learn some­thing new, too.
2. If you’re dis­play­ing a group assign­ment or project, always include every­one who par­tic­i­pated and com­pleted their project! (I learned this the hard way with one of my adorable kinder­garten­ers a few years ago.… I had cho­sen the “best exam­ples” to put up in the school office. Then later I over­heard him tear­fully tell some­one, “I don’t know why she didn’t put mine up. I did it per­fectly!” Les­son learned!!)
3. Con­sider how all the ele­ments of your dis­play work together, includ­ing the back­ground, which becomes the “neg­a­tive space” and an inte­gral part of your design. Pick­ing up a com­mon color, tex­ture or shape to repeat in the back­ground can help tie your dis­play together and give it a feel­ing of unity. Add inter­est to the back­ground by cre­at­ing pat­terns, tex­ture, or con­trast with fab­rics or paint.
4. Try using yarn, string, rib­bon or paper of a con­trast­ing color to direct eye move­ment through your display.

5. Don’t be afraid to let pieces being dis­played over­lap the bor­ders of your bul­letin board and even travel right off the edges and around the room or down the hall.… assum­ing that’s not “off lim­its”, of course!
6. Add accents that com­ple­ment the sub­ject of your dis­play. For exam­ple, paint­ings of fall trees could have some real leaves sprin­kled below them or self-portraits could be mounted on 3D paper frames.

7. Give your bul­letin boards a title, so that view­ers can know what they’re look­ing at. Keep your titles short, “catchy”, and eas­ily read­able at a glance, like a good headline.
8. No mat­ter how won­der­ful a bul­letin board may be, after a while peo­ple stop notic­ing it. Keep chang­ing your bul­letin boards to keep things fresh!


5 Responses to Better Bulletin Boards!

  1. Kelly January 13, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    I LOVE that bul­letin board! Very pow­er­ful and wonderful. :-)

  2. Patty P January 15, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    You’ve inspired me to con­sider mak­ing bul­letin boards. I don’t do it at all. Except for hang­ing art in the art room, I make no effort to post it else­where. Per­haps your school is like mine (Santa Bar­bara) and have no indoor wall space? Where do you put your displays?

  3. TeachKidsArt January 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    Hi Patty! I’m glad I’ve inspired you… you have cer­tainly inspired me!! :) I had a won­der­ful 4’x8’ bul­letin board in our school office that was all mine until they remod­eled the office last year and cov­ered that wall with fil­ing cab­i­nets! Now I have the same sit­u­a­tion as you, with no indoor wall space.… except for inside the indi­vid­ual class­rooms, or off-site dis­plays. I plan to look into more off-site options for dis­play­ing stu­dent work… a good way to adver­tise our school, too!

  4. Becca Ruth :) July 26, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    I love your blog!! It has been a big inspi­ra­tion to me. Please check out my bud­ding blog
    I would appre­ci­ate the sup­port!
    Becca Ruth

  5. Anonymous February 10, 2011 at 6:07 am #

    Love your ideas! Our school has a group called Meet the Artist. Thank you,

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