20 Creative Bulletin Board Ideas for Teachers and Educators

Updated August 1, 2023

Image description

A teacher with a student handing the teacher a note. There is a list with the title "Five Creative Bulletin Board Ideas" and these ideas:
• Random acts of kindness board
• Joke or satire board
• Name board
• Positivity board
• Dream or goal board

Teachers and educators may create bulletin boards to feature in their classrooms or along the hallway. They typically use them to inspire their students or display student projects and important classroom reminders. Understanding how to use these interactive tools can help teachers support their students’ learning and make their classroom more enjoyable. 

In this article, we discuss what bulletin board ideas are, review the benefits of using them and provide a list of 20 bulletin board ideas for educators.

What are bulletin board ideas?

Bulletin board ideas are materials that display a class theme or mission statement, highlight current subject matter or offer opportunities for students to better visualize what they're learning in class.

Many teachers research bulletin board ideas online so they can create a bulletin board display that encourages a positive learning environment for their students. Here are a few general bulletin board themes that teachers can consider to gain inspiration for their own classrooms:

  • Holidays

  • Beginning or end of the school year

  • Course curriculum

  • Book summaries

  • Motivational or inspirational quotes

  • Elementary school student activities

Benefits of using bulletin boards

There are many benefits of using bulletin boards inside the classroom and in school hallways, such as:

  • Inspiration: Bulletin board displays can become a source of inspiration for educators and their students. They can highlight students' finest artwork or school assignments, provide inspiring quotes and display student bios and fun facts.

  • Information: Bulletin boards are a useful way to convey information that students learn in the classroom so that they can easily reference it when needed. Teachers can also use boards to post important classroom information about upcoming tests and events so that students stay updated.

  • Engagement: Many teachers use bulletin boards that allow students to actively engage with activities and information on the board. This can give students a chance to participate in the creation of the board and interact with one another as they do so.

Related: How To Practice Inspirational Leadership

15 creative bulletin board ideas for teachers and educators

Here’s a list of 15 creative bulletin board ideas you may consider using in your classroom:

1. Word wall

A word wall is a bulletin board in the classroom that introduces unfamiliar words and their definitions. Consider creating a themed word wall that corresponds with the content you're currently teaching in class, and update it quarterly with new words students learn as the school year progresses.

You could also start the wall at the beginning of the year and add to it until the end of the last quarter so your students can see all the words they've learned throughout the year.

2. Literary genres

Before you introduce or review the different genres of literature to your students, you can create a literary genre bulletin board that lists book genres, their definitions, defining characteristics and examples of books in each genre.

Consider using flap cards on your board to make it more interactive. You can do this by folding a piece of paper in half, writing the information about each genre on the inside and the name of the genre on the outside. Then staple each flap card onto the board so that students can lift the cards to review the details of each genre.

Related: Guide to Types of Fiction: Genres, Definition and Examples

3. Alphabet boards

An alphabet board promotes reading fluency for younger students by allowing them to view all the letters in the alphabet. You can begin the year by practicing the sounds of the letters with your students, and as the year progresses, you can add note cards with a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet.

Students can draw a picture of the words listed on the note card for a visual aid of what each word means. This helps remind them what letter each word starts with and adds a layer of student engagement to the board.

4. Inspirational quotes

Many teachers use bulletin boards to promote positivity in the classroom. Depending on your school, grade level or personal theme, choose a quote that you believe can inspire your students, such as quotes about working hard or being kind. Famous quotes, lines from movies, books or poems can be a good choice for bulletin board quotes.

If you teach older students, you can consider asking each of them to choose a quote, and your class can vote on which one they like best. Then they can help in the creation of the bulletin board once they've decided on a quote.

Related: 100 Quotes To Inspire Your Work

5. Homophones

A homophone is two or more words that have the same pronunciation but different spelling and meanings, such as bee and be. Some elementary school teachers use homophones in their bulletin boards that relate to their overall bulletin board theme.

For example, if it's almost summer, they might create a board that says "Bee ready for summer" with a sky in the background and bees that have each student's name on them.

6. Emoji

If you would like to engage your students in reading, consider creating a bulletin board that uses different emoji faces to convey the emotions of various books. You can print covers of a variety of books that are grade-level appropriate for your students and then add emojis that represent the emotions and theme of the book. Students can look at the board and get a basic understanding of each book based on the emoji associated with the front covers.

7. Classroom rules

A good place to list your classroom rules for your students to see is on a bulletin board inside your classroom. You can decorate the bulletin board to fit the overall theme of your classroom and place it somewhere all students can easily see it.

If your students are old enough, you may consider leaving a few blank pieces of paper on the bulletin board and allowing them to help you create a few of their own rules for the classroom. Then you can write in the rules after they choose what to add.

Related: 19 Teaching Strategies To Use in the Classroom

8. Bucket fillers

Teachers use the bucket filler board to promote kindness among students in their classes. You can create small felt pouches with each student's name, and every week, students can use a sticky note to write something kind about someone in the class and put the note in that person's bucket.

At the end of each week or month, the students can take the notes out of their buckets and read the kind words that other students have written about them.

Related: 17 Do’s and Don’ts of Teaching (With Solutions)

9. Bragging wall

You can create a bulletin board that gives students the opportunity to hang some of the work they're most proud of for other students to see. Create the background of the bulletin board by covering it with different colors of construction paper, and then glue mini clothespins to the top of each piece of construction paper with each student's name. This way, students can pin some of their student work to the front of each piece of construction paper on the board.

10. Coloring corner

Younger students may require time to take a break from their work and relax or socialize. Consider giving them a space to do this by creating a bulletin board coloring corner. You can find individual coloring sheets online that you can print and hang on the board, or you may want to use a larger coloring sheet that fills most of the bulletin board's space so that it acts as a class coloring sheet.

Glue the individual coloring sheets or the one large printout to the board, and leave some crayons or colored pencils nearby. If students feel they could use a small break from their work, they can go to the coloring corner and color quietly for a few minutes. When they feel more focused, they can go back to their desks and continue their work.

Related: 8 Qualities of a Good Teacher (And Tips for How To Develop Them)

11. Parking lot questions

A parking lot bulletin board allows students to "park" their questions about something they learned in class. They can do this by writing the question on the bulletin board so you can answer it at a later time, such as at the end of class or at the beginning of class the following day.

Some teachers may write something as simple as "Parking Lot Questions" on their boards, while others may decorate it according to their room's theme or design it to look like a parking lot.

12. Compare and contrast

Teachers can use compare and contrast bulletin boards in most subjects and grade levels. Consider drawing a Venn diagram on the board, and then title your note cards with whatever two topics you are comparing and contrasting in class that week.

You may consider using it as an interactive board to increase student engagement. Students can write similarities and differences on sticky notes and place them on the correct section of the compare and contrast diagram. 

13. I spy

If you teach elementary school students, try creating an "I spy" bulletin board by writing "I spy something..." in the middle of the board. Around the words, glue as many small items as you can fit. You can cut out images from magazines such as animals, books, food, clothing or anything else you want your students to look for while playing. The more items you glue to the board, the more difficult the game is.

You can take a break from your daily lessons to play the game using the bulletin board. Students can take turns guessing which item you chose from the board until someone gets the correct answer. Then, the student who guesses it correctly can choose the next item for other students to look for, and the game continues.

Related: 20 Fun Classroom Games (Plus Benefits and Examples)

14. 30 days of thankfulness

Consider creating a bulletin board during the month of November that allows students to participate in 30 days of thankfulness around the Thanksgiving holiday. At the top of the board, you can add a title and then number the board from one to 30, or to the number of how many students you have in your class. You can then glue small paper clips underneath each number.

For each day of class in November, you can choose one student to write something they're thankful for on a piece of paper and then they can place it under their number. At the end of the month, your class can reflect on what the students are thankful for, and then you can return their papers back to them.

15. Joy

During the holiday season, you can construct a bulletin board that focuses on what brings students joy. At the top of the board, write a question like, "What brings YOU joy?" Under that, you can draw or cut out three large letters to spell out the word "joy" and then glue them onto the board. Your students can take turns using a marker to write inside the letters about something that makes them joyful during the holiday season.

Related: 3 Domains of Learning: Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor

5 more creative bulletin board ideas

Here’s a list of five other creative bulletin board ideas to help your students learn and engage with one another:

  1. Random acts of kindness board: Fill the board with envelopes each that contain a description of a random act of kindness. Then, have students choose an envelope and execute the favor or task listed on the page inside of it. 

  2. Joke or satire board: Add a joke or satirical quote to the board to make students laugh and engage with the topics they’re learning. For example, if you’re focusing on teaching them addition and subtraction, you can add a joke about this topic to the board. 

  3. Name board: Making a name board can help your students learn each other's names and feel more comfortable in class. Consider making a cookie jar name board where every cookie features one of the students’ names. 

  4. Positivity board: You can create a positivity board that features a list of positive adjectives or verbs students can use to describe themselves and others. This can help students expand their vocabularies and practice their reading skills while encouraging a positive learning environment. 

  5. Dream or goal board: Consider creating a dream or goal board where students can list their aspirations and share them with their classmates. You can encourage students to update their goals throughout the school year, and acknowledge when they accomplish a task they added to the board.

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