These child-made bulletin board ideas and interactive writing displays work for a variety of preschool themes! These bulletin board ideas combine student art with student writing, creating a beautiful print-rich environment for students. When the children are immersed in a world of their own letters and words, they quickly learn just how powerful their art and writing can be and that there is a message or meaning to everything they create or write.
As I’ve previously said, I am passionate about early literacy! The way we learn to read and write fascinates me. I love teaching children to read, write, and enjoy the whole process of literacy. Specifically, I like using meaningful activities to teach the kiddos. I like to use children’s writing as part of bulletin board ideas I come up with. I especially enjoy using kids’ art AND their writing to make meaningful displays around the classroom. This helps create a print-rich environment, and it also shows the children that their writing is important.
Today I want to talk about incorporating interactive writing* into bulletin boards. I like using student work to decorate the classroom, and this definitely includes bulletin boards! One of my favorite things to do is couple interactive writing with art. Since the children are writing about their own artwork, the writing is more meaningful to them. If it’s more meaningful to them, they’re more invested in the writing/learning process.
There are so many different ways to incorporate interactive writing and student work. You can make lists, write letters, create recipes, and then include photos, paintings, drawings, etc. As I tell the kiddos, whatever you can say you can write! Then just work the artwork in and create a display that works for you.
I like to create storyboards with the kids sometimes. When we do this, the students and I work together to write the story. Oftentimes, it’s a basic retelling of a familiar book we have recently read. After the writing, we all work together to create the artwork (rather than individual pieces by each student). When creating a storyboard, the story comes first, then the art.
At other times, students’ arts and crafts are the jumping points. The kids create their art (or a craft) on their own or during center time with a teacher. Once each child has done this, we all sit together as a group to write the story. When we do this, I like to place the interactive writing in the middle of a bulletin board, then surround it with individual students’ work. In this case, the art usually comes before the story.
Another favorite is labeling a giant piece of art the children have made together. They work as a team to create the artwork first and the writing flows from it. Many times, this comes together on the fly with the kids asking to make something. From there, I use the children’s conversation and their questions to guide what we write about.
Those are just a few examples of displaying students’ writing and art in the classroom. I just love looking around my room and seeing it covered with items the children have created!
Please note this can be done on a smaller level at home, too! Simply share the writing with your children, then put it up along with your child’s artwork. It could be displayed on the fridge, directly on the wall, or even in a nice frame!
What about you? Do you have any bulletin board ideas you’d like to share? How do you incorporate kids’ writing and art in your classroom or home? I’d love to hear about it!!
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*Interactive writing refers to a teacher “sharing the pen” with her students, usually in a whole-group setting. Together, teacher and students decide on a story to write. The teacher models and asks questions, leading the children through writing the story. If the children know which word, letter, or chunk to write, they do so. If they’re not yet able to, the teacher writes it for them. This is an incredibly simplistic definition. For more information, here are two of my favorite books about the topic:
- Interactive Writing by McCarrier, Fountas, Pinnell
- Interactive Writing and Interactive Editing by Swartz, Klein, & Shook
Bulletin Board Materials
Student-made bulletin boards are such a great way to put the classroom community that we’ve worked hard to build on display while also displaying the uniqueness of each individual student. And, as such, you’ll want to make the best out of sometimes small spaces for displays. To make the most of that space, I’ve made a list of some handy items.
These materials will keep the logistics of putting bulletin boards together simple so that your class can shine (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Bulletin board paper
- Scalloped bulletin board borders
- Staple gun
- Rubber tack bulletin board
- Bulletin board cutouts
Done-for-You Preschool Resources
As teachers, we have to worry about decorating bulleton boards, communicating with parents, cleaning our classrooms, preparing for activities, gathering materials, and actually teaching, among many other things. Let Preschool Teacher 101 help save you some time today!
We have some amazing full week comprehensive lesson plans. Click on the images below to learn more about each of these literacy-focused resources.
Don’t worry, we have more than just literacy resources. We also have full week themed lesson plans, which include math, literacy, circle time, book ideas, and much more! Click on the image below to learn about our little red hen lesson plans.
I love this! I have never been a fan of “cute bulletin boards” that show more the teacher’s work than the student’s. I have started doing something like this in my classroom with my pre-kindergarteners but creating interactive bulletin boards like yours will help get me to the next level. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the feedback!! I’m with you on that . . . I’d rather see more kiddo work displayed than something I did/bought. Also, if writing together isn’t the appropriate level for your students, you can always let the children dictate a story for you to write down and include on the board. 🙂
Susan Syddall says
I love the fact that it’s the child’s work that’s been displayed.
Thank you! My teaching partner and I try to do that as much as possible. 🙂
Oh my goodness, I miss my former first graders after looking at your super cute writing! 🙂 Don’t you love trying to decipher words! 🙂 haha Great ideas, thanks for sharing this week on Play to Write-Write to Read play group on Cheerios and Lattes! 🙂
Thank you, Mackenzie! I’m really excited to participate in your Play to Write-Write to Read series! And, yes, don’t you think there should be some kind of degree in translating kid writing?!
This is a beautiful representation of children’s work. It really must show on those students faces how valued they must feel because so much more than their drawings are being displayed, but their stories! I don’t see enough of this in classrooms. Plenty of art, but not the stories involved!
Mary Catherine says
Heather, this just made my day! I absolutely love combining literacy and art with my students, and I think it’s meaningful to them to see it all around them in the classroom. 🙂 Thank you for such kind words!!