If you teach in a school or are parents to school-going children, you already know how important a science fair is. Science fairs are an excellent opportunity for kids to display their learning into visible form. They allow students to apply practical knowledge.
Creating a science fair project from scratch is a bit of a hassle and requires a lot of hard work. If you haven’t yet mastered your creative and artistic abilities, you should use a science fair board that you can design virtually with an online tool.
Today we will tell you how to design a science project board from scratch using EdrawMax. So, let’s get started!
What is A Science Fair Project Board?
A science fair project board is a display board where you communicate your work’s details with others. Most people use a standard 3-panel display Board and paste images and other relevant visual pieces relevant to their research and data.
The display board usually consists of a list of items which are:
- Name of the presenter
- Picture of the presenter
- Captions mentioning the source of every picture or image
- Laboratory notes
- Information snippets
- Experimental data and statistics
Image source: Edraw
Key Info of Making A Science Fair Project Board
Science fair project board investigates scientific phenomena in the natural world, whether it’s biology, physics, chemistry, psychology, or any other science area. Here is how you can design a science fair board like a pro:
• Building the Board:
The science fair board layout is mostly trifold, where the board is approximately 36 inches wide and 14 inches tall. These boards are easily available at stationery shops, office supplies stores, and craft stores. You can also create your own board by layering a top chart over a piece of cardboard. Create three separate pieces and place them together using duct tape.
• Format and Layout:
Generally, the elements judged in a science fair board should include title, questions, hypothesis, procedures, materials, results, resources, personal information, and conclusion. So, make sure your science boat contains all these important elements and that they are organized logically.
A useful tip here is to use an easy drawing tool to design your science fair board properly. Get a printout and simply cut and pasted on your board. It will save you a lot of time and effort.
• Make It Attractive:
To make science fair project boards look attractive, use a lot of different colors and interesting images relevant to the topic. You can also draw your own diagrams and charts. The more visual AIDS you use, the more attractive your project will be.
Examples of Science Fair Project Boards
There are different types of science fair project boards for different topics.
1. Science Project Board for Bacteria
Image source: Pinterest
This is a great example of a science project board on the topic of bacteria.
2. Periodic Table of Elements
Image source: creately.com
The periodic table of elements is one of the most popular choices when it comes to science fair projects.
3. Science Project Board for Photosynthesis
Image source: Pinterest
This template works great for those who like botany and plants.
4. Science Fair Display Layout
Image source: blog.volunteerspot.com
This generic science fair project board layout can be used for any topic.
That’s why we’ve made our science fair project display page as easy to understand as possible.
At first it may seem like a bit much. But we recommend you read everything on this page to get a better understanding of what a winning science fair project display is.
A little time here will make your time at the science fair much more rewarding.
So read everything!
Let’s create your science fair project display!
Here we go.
1. Let’s start with the bare basics. Make sure you already know what your school requires in a display board. Science fair judges can be a bit picky. So.
. be careful to follow the instructions your teacher gave you. Follow the rules and you can’t go wrong. Ignore them and.
. well, you’ll do it right anyway. So you don’t need to know!
The size of board, the way reports are written, the type of labeling required and many other things come into play. So make sure you know what your school requires!
2. Now you get to go grocery shopping. Well, maybe not exactly shopping, but this is the part where you gather your supplies. Make sure you have everything you need before you start. So.
. make a list first thing, then gather your supplies.
Your display will require.
1. Display board or sturdy cardboard (order from Amazon here)
2. Tape (double-sided or regular)
3. Scissors and/or craft knife
4. Markers, paint or crayons
5. Paper or cloth
9. Pictures relating to your project
10. Labels (pre-made or homemade)
11. Computer and paper
You may also want to include.
3. Small samples from your project
Your project may include additional supplies. So make sure you list everything you need so that you can get it in one trip.
3. Did you get eveything you needed?
Now we can move on to the plan. These are the parts you place on your display. Your plan may include.
2. Supply list
5. The steps you took
6. Graphs and charts
. every school is different. So make sure you know what your school requires!
4. Now comes the fun part.
. you get to start making your display!
The important thing here is to be creative. When you make your title and labels, don’t just use the same old same old. For instance, if your project is about the effects of heat on our oceans, use sea shells to create an attractive title.
If you plan on a project theme about horses, use rope letters in your title and labels.
Also use appropriate and attractive color schemes. A project about space could have a black color scheme. But black would never work for a project about light! Use appropriate colors!
Even the way you display your infromation should reflect who you are. But keep it neat whatever you do.
The key is be creative! Judges like to see originality. So.
Make sure your title and labels are ready to be placed on the science fair project display board.
5. Practice different types of layouts. You can still be creative with this part. But.
The judges are looking for more than just originality in your layout.
Be too original and you’ll turn the judges off.
Some factors for a good layout are.
1. Appeal (will it attract attention?)
2. Clarity (is your project clear?)
3. Balance (is it pleasant to look at?)
4. Creativity (is it you?)
6. Now assemble each part of your display. If you have a pre-made cardboard display, begin gluing the pieces on where you have already decided they would go. Make sure everything is glued tightly.
If you are using regular cardboard, cut out the pieces according to the rules given you by your school. It’s probably best to make the middle panel a little bit longer than the two side panels. But be careful to make the side panels equal to each other! Your science fair project display board should look something like this.
7. You’re almost there. One more thing we need to do.
Plan what you will put in front of your science fair project display. If you have a model, photo journal, samples or report folder, display it neatly and attractively on the table in front of your display.
Although many science fairs have a “hands-off” rule, be prepared to have your “stuff” handled anyway. At the very least, the judges will be touching your project.
Below are some ideas for science fair project displays. But don’t just copy what you see. Use your brain! Be creative, and come up with something original!
Oh, what a feeling… periodic table on the ceiling!
Looking for ways to take your science lab or classroom up a notch? Look no further than these amazing science bulletin boards and classroom decor ideas!
1. Explore the solar system.
It’s the 3D planets that really make this solar system board pop. Have students help create them from styrofoam balls or papier-mâché.
2. Make science sparkle!
Science bulletin boards aren’t the only way to go. Turn your classroom door into an explanation of the science of snow, and don’t forget to add a little glitter and shine. (Find more winter science activities and experiments here.)
3. Teach the scientific method with memes.
Make the scientific method come alive with memes! This is a fun way to help kids remember the steps of this all-important concept.
4. Put the periodic table on the ceiling.
Chances are your classroom ceiling is covered with those ubiquitous ceiling tiles, so why not turn them into the periodic table? Teacher Dan Ruddy did it with die-cut vinyl appliques.
5. Map out cell biology.
Bright colors and a simple concept make this cell biology board stand out. Comparing plant cells and animal cells side-by-side drives the learning home.
6. Chew on some dental facts.
Open wide! The “guess who” shots of student smiles personalize this bulletin board and make science real for kids.
7. Bring the periodic table to life.
The periodic table becomes much more meaningful when students find examples of the elements in the world around them. Have each student create a tile, then assemble them for an eye-catching display.
8. Become a mad scientist.
Mad science bulletin boards are popular, and we love this example where the teacher recreated herself in paper form! She added photos of her science classes in action as the year went on, too.
9. Create interactive DNA.
Use magnets or Velcro to create a build-your-own DNA strand. Challenge students to match up the pairs—they’ll get different results every time!
10. Celebrate the season with a chemistree.
This science door decoration combines the holidays with some punny humor, so everybody wins!
11. Highlight current science news.
Keep kids up to date on new discoveries, scientific advances, and far-reaching exploration by posting news updates on your science bulletin boards.
12. Show off your science.
Fill your science bulletin boards with photos of your class projects and experiments. This will inspire future students and allow past classes to remember the fun they had while learning with you!
13. Dissect a giant (paper) frog.
This interactive door decoration is making us green with envy! No need for formaldehyde—just lots of green paper and a bit of creativity.
14. Illustrate the path of human evolution.
Simple silhouettes paint a picture of evolution that’s easy to understand. Cut them from black paper, or paint them on the wall if you’re allowed.
15. Show that science is everywhere.
The detail, the 3D effects, the colors, the simplicity… everything about this bulletin board opens up the world of science for the students who see it.
16. Make it Muppet-ational!
In our opinion, all science bulletin boards should feature Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker! They’ll make any science concept you display a lot more fun.
17. Tell time with the elements.
Your class will learn the first 12 elements of the periodic table in no time at all when they see them on your classroom clock! Make your own, or buy one at the Etsy link below.
18. Share science images.
Ask students to take a photo of what science means to them, then print and display the images. Extra points for creative use of periodic table letters!
19. Post your burning questions.
Use this fiery flask as a parking lot for student questions on your latest topic of discussion. You can change out the standard and clear off the questions as you move on.
20. Play a game of Operation.
Your anatomy lessons will be a lot more entertaining when you add in the classic kid’s game Operation! Those x-ray images are just the icing on the cake.
Speaking of anatomy, why not tickle your students’ funny bones with 20 Cheesy Science Jokes for the Classroom?
Plus, check out our favorite experiments for 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade.
When it comes to any learning environment, the importance of visual aids can’t be understated.
As far as visual aids go, it’s hard to go wrong with a display board especially when you’re presenting to a smaller group of like 25 people. Here’s a simple and plain presentation board containing only important information – straight to the point and effective. Display boards are perfect presentation tools for showing important information to highlighting one’s creativity.
If you have an incoming presentation or unit study, we highly recommend that you use a trifold board. Go to a science fair or even an organizational advertising at a career fair and you will see countless trifold displays.
For this post, we’ll talk about the trifold board and some ideas on how to improve your presentation.
What is a Trifold Board?
A tri fold project board is a great way to organize a lot of information on a single board or sheet of paper. This board provides you with a convenient way to arrange information and an ample space to convey your message.
When done properly, a trifold board gives you six sections to strategically present all important information regarding the presentation. The board edges are folded towards the center, so one side ends up on top of the other, opening to the opposite sides.
The main goal of a trifold presentation is to make the audience want to keep on reading. However, each section should be engaging enough to grab the audience’s attention independently.
Tips to Improve Your Trifold Presentation
When you’re in a fair or exhibit, tri-boards will only capture about 15 to 20 seconds of a visitor’s attention. Unfortunately, making a trifold board takes more than 20 seconds, so it’s up to you to make your investment count.
Below are some tips to make the most out of your presentation board.
Know Your Audience
Who are your most likely audience? Your board should cater to the target group’s cultural/age tendencies and prior knowledge. For example, don’t include information about a higher-level topic that’s catered to the experts in that particular field.
If necessary, include the basics but always go for unique or revolutionary information that will benefit the audience.
Use Headers and Titles
Grab the attention of the audience instantly by using headers and titles. The title of the presentation should be engaging and easy to read. This is where you can unleash your creativity and imagination. Short and alliterated titles are often the catchiest. Go for bold, basic fonts with dark coloring. For this, you may use a word processing program like MS Word or stencil the titles by hand.
Your board is a visual aid so adding pictures to the presentation is a must. Add photos, diagrams, and other illustrations to enhance the visualization of your ideas or concepts.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should go all out.
All the pictures that you will be adding should tastefully be chosen with relevant captions. A good tip is to glue the pictures to a frame (like a construction paper) to make them even more eye-catching and durable.
Write Clear, Concise Content
When adding the text or content, it’s important that they should be summarized as briefly as possible. No one wants to read a wall of text, especially not off a project board.
Use formatting such as bold fonts and bullet points whenever applicable. Write for the layman which means that you should use easy-to-understand vocabulary and words.
The purpose of the text on a tri-fold board is to clearly explain the things that can’t be explained clearly using visual aids.
Add Interactive Elements
If you really want to think outside the box (in this case, outside the board), why not try adding interactive elements to your presentation?
You can use 3-D or other interactive objects on a table in front of your display board. For example, when you’re presenting about the great American pioneers, you can create a popsicle stick log cabin and display it on the front your board. This tip lends itself well to science fair displays.
Use Quality Materials
This is pretty much a given if you want your display to last and be more engaging. From self-standing tri fold poster board to adhesives, invest in high-quality materials and supplies. Sure, it’s probably going to be a little bit expensive but at the end of the day, all that matters is you can create a tri-board that will communicate your message effectively.
Take Pride in Your Display Board
Creating a trifold board is already a fun experience by itself. When done right, you will be on track to convey your concepts or ideas to your target audience. Remember the tips above for a project display that is both efficient and effective.
Have you made a trifold display before? Any tips that you can share? Feel free to let us know in the comments.
By Aurora Lipper | Submitted On December 12, 2008
Your display board gets a chance to speak about your elementary science fair project even before you get a chance to speak. So I would advise you pay some good attention to it, as this will be the first thing that the judges will examine.
Here are some elements that go into making the perfect display board for your elementary science fair:
- Your Supplies: Your display board must be made up of hard cardboard or plywood. A wooden board may be very heavy to be carried around. It should consist of three panels that can be slightly folded to make the board stand on its own. Avoid using a poster board as it can get warped and fall over, causing you embarrassment. Cover the display board with a decent colored contact paper, fabric or wallpaper.
- Your Color Scheme: You must not use more than 3 contrasting colors. The background can be white, light blue, yellow or some light color. The title and the subtitles must have darker colors such as dark green, dark blue or red. Make your papers and reports stand out by putting a dark colored border made of construction paper around them. Never use neon colors as they do not look professional and would distract the onlooker from the theme of the project.
- Your Layout: Now we come to the most important part of your elementary science fair display. Your display board must be simple, and neatly organized. It must be inviting enough for people to come over and want to learn more about your project.
- Title: Your title is actually your conclusion in short. The letters used for the title should be large and should be placed on the top part of the central panel.
- Subtitles: Your subtitles must be slightly smaller than the title and can be made of self-sticking letters which you can buy from a local office supplies store.
- Pages displayed:The print on the report pages must be large enough with important points well highlighted so that the person standing at your display table can read them clearly. Although you can manually draw graphs, it is best to use a computer for tables, charts and graphs.
- Center of Attraction: Have an impressive graphic just below the title that will be the center of attraction of your display and that can lead the onlooker to other parts thereafter.
- Diagrams: Create relevant drawings using pencil first and then colors. Use an opaque projector if you have access to one.
- Photographs: Photographs display articles or equipment that cannot be carried to the elementary science fair. They also display you in action during different stages of the experiment. They make your display lively and tend to attract attention.
- A base: Your display board must be placed on a sturdy table covered with a light colored table cloth in keeping with your color scheme. Place neatly labeled copies of your abstract, project report and your journal on the table neatly.
- Model and Equipment: Place your model or demonstration equipment on the table besides your abstract, project report, and journal. A well made model can be the highlight of the display table. Avoid loose cables hanging from the table or the display board.
That’s about everything you need to know about making the perfect display board!
Now, before you get cracking with your newfound knowledge, I have a free copy of “Easy Steps to Award-Winning Science Fair Projects” for you, which you can download right now from the link below.
Your next step is to download a free copy of Easy Steps to Award-Winning Science Fair Projects to lead you through your own project.
A great resource for science project ideas, as well as how to do them, is the science project blog. Definitely worth bookmarking.
About the Author
Aurora Lipper has been teaching science to kids for over 10 years. She is also a mechanical engineer, university instructor, pilot, astronomer and a real live rocket scientist (You should see the lab in her basement!) She has inspired thousands of kids with the fun and magic of science.
KEVIN M. JACKSON
The tri-fold board is essential for a science fair project. Judges should be able to determine what sparked the idea for the project by reading the question and problem. The tri-fold board should be a guided tour of how the experiment was conducted. Pictures help the judges to understand what was done, how it was done and what the final results were.
Explore this article
- Design the Board Layout
- Organize the board segments
- Add pictures
- Make the wording
- Add Accessories to the Board
- Place the science
- Create a model
- Tri-fold board
- Colored construction paper
- Colored markers
1 Design the Board Layout
2 Organize the board segments
Organize the board segments so that the information flows in a logical manner. For example, the left-hand section of the tri-fold board should have the question, hypothesis and procedures. The second section should have the project title and abstract. The third section should have data collected, graphs and a conclusion.
3 Add pictures
Add pictures that create a story of what took place before, during and after the experiment.
4 Make the wording
Make the wording on the tri-fold large enough for the judges to read.
5 Add Accessories to the Board
6 Place the science
Place the science fair notebook on the table in front of the tri-fold so that the judges can review a day-by-day account of how the experiment was conducted.
7 Create a model
Create a model that is associated with the project. Models help enhance the visual presentation of the tri-fold board.
Place colored construction paper behind documents posted on the board to bring out color and distinction between the different components.
About the Author
Based in Virginia, Kevin M. Jackson has been writing professionally since 2003. He is the author of the books “Life Lessons for My Sons” and “When GOD Speaks.” Jackson holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Savannah State University and a Master of Arts in urban education from Norfolk State University.
A display board is a key component to a winning social studies project. The display board should show all of the research that was completed for the project and follow all of the dimension guidelines as described for your project. Additionally, it should be easy to read and understand. The display board is the opportunity to bring the social studies project to life. Some contests allow you to include items such as dioramas as part of the display inside the display board dimensions.
Gather the information that you have researched for your social studies project. Be sure to include any pictures or samples of handiwork that you collected while doing your research.
Determine the theme of your project. For example, you may be focused on how the economics of a region affected its cultural development, or you may be focused on a particular time period in history.
Choose the key points that you want to highlight on your display board. These points should correspond to the key points written in the paper portion of your project.
Draw a sample layout including the pictures and text you want to include on the display board. This allows you to create a better-designed poster because you can adjust the features as necessary. If you are including extra display information such as a diorama or another display items, be sure that it does not block important texts.
Create the poster. Choose a background color that compliments the text colors. Mount the photos, graphs and charts on colored paper so that they stand out on the display board.
Presenting Your Science Project Results
This is it – the big day is finally here! Everyone will be looking at your science fair display board, reading your report, and listening to your presentation. How do you show off your work in the best possible way?
Everything you’ve done must be summarized here. This is your chance to show the world what you’ve learned from your experiment. Your science fair display and report are the ways the judges will remember your project when they make their decision. While it’s very important that your scientific work was accurate, that’s not everything.
Science Fair Display Boards
So how should you present your project?
Let’s look at the basics. Your display should consist of a back board, sometimes sold specifically as a science fair display board (Get it Here), a project report, graphs and charts, and some representation of your experiment.
Of course it would be great if you could also bring your experiment into the fair, but if it’s too big, or if it was strictly observational, consider bringing in photographs or a part of the experimental apparatus. Some people even bring in a small television or laptop and show a video presentation of their project.
Whatever methods you choose, your presentation has to represent your project in such a way that it holds the interest of the judges–so be creative, but keep it simple.
The size and shape of science fair display boards can vary, so be sure to check the rules. Common maximum sizes are 48 inches wide, 30 inches deep, and 108 inches from the floor. Generally speaking, no matter the size, a traditional display board is divided into three sections: the main center section, and two “wings” which are folded toward the front. They can be made from scratch from heavy cardboard or wood, or can be ordered inexpensively over the internet.
Now, think about the things you’ll want to attach to the science fair display board. Some competitions, and most teachers, have rules or guidelines for what should be included. These might include cut-out lines of text which detail your original question (which will be your project topic), your hypothesis, results, conclusions, and other information including charts and graphs.
The title of your project should always go on the center panel at the top of your display board. It must be large enough so that people can see it from about three feet away. The other pieces of text can be smaller, and should be placed in a logical order. In other words, let the judges read your hypothesis before they read your conclusions.
Several years ago, it was common to use stenciled or cut-out letters. Now that most students have access to computers and printers, it is more common for these lines of text to be printed in large letters. There is no rule about this, but be aware that looks do matter. A word printed on a laser printer looks a lot better than one drawn and colored with a marker.
It’s very important that your science fair display board will be something the judges will remember in a good way, and not just because it used bright colors and big letters. You want it to be well-organized and uncluttered so the judges aren’t distracted. Make it look professional, and the judges will treat your project professionally.
Science Fair Report & Presentation
Your teacher may require an in-class report and presentation of your science project. Or it could just be for the judges at the competition. Either way, you will probably have to give an oral presentation discussing your experiment and results. There may or may not be a time limit, but it’s always helpful to keep your presentation short and to-the-point. Be sure that your report touches on all of the elements of your project, including but not limited to the points of the Scientific Method.
Be sure to practice, preferably in front of an audience. Giving an oral presentation and talking to the judges, who may be teachers or professionals you’ve never met before, is often the hardest part for many students. Practice will give you the confidence you need to sound like an authority in your area of research, and that’s something that the judges like to hear.
Points are awarded for your ability to discuss the project clearly, explaining each stage of your research and every step of your experiment. The judges will ask you questions, so practice will really help. Have someone you know ask you questions about your project. It might make you think about things that you haven’t considered before.
NEVER make up answers to difficult questions. Instead of admitting that you don’t know, tell the judges that you didn’t discover the answer to that question during your research, and then present other, relevant information.
It may not seem right, but your appearance may affect how the judges view you. A professional appearance will reflect well on you and your project. You are not only trying to look professional yourself, but also to make your project look like the result of thoughtful, mature, and professional scientific research.
/In summary, it’s important that you have a professional-looking, well-organized science fair display board to make a good impression on the judges. It try to appear relaxed and knowledgable while presenting your science fair report.
Search This Site:
- Intro to Science Fair PRojects
- Project Ideas
- Types of Projects
- Pick a Topic
- Scientific Method
- Design Your Experiment
- Present Project – Display Board
- What Judges Want
- Parent Info
- Lab Safety
- Buy Science Fair Display Board
- Sample Science Projects – botany, ecology, microbiology, nutrition
- Lemon battery experiment
The Complete Handbook of Science Fair Projects
VanCleave’s Best Science Fair Projects
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2 nd – 4 th grade
Difficulty of Project
Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project
One to two hours to make the paper airplanes and collect the data; one day to prepare the science fair display.
To understand forces that cause paper airplanes to fly and determine which type of paper airplane flies the farthest.
Materials and Equipment
- Directions for making paper airplanes
- Masking tape
- Measuring tape
Four forces are at work to make an airplane fly: weight, lift, thrust, and drag. Weight pulls the airplane down. Lift pulls the airplane up. Thrust moves the airplane forward. Drag pulls the airplane back. The same concepts that allow a commercial airplane to fly, cause a paper airplane to fly.
In this investigation, weight, lift, thrust, and drag are considered in an effort to determine which paper airplane flies the farthest.
Terms, Concepts, and Questions to Start Background Research
weight: gravitational force; the force that causes an aircraft to go down
lift: the force that causes an aircraft to lift
thrust: the force that causes an aircraft to move forward
drag: the force that causes an aircraft to pull back
Weight, lift, thrust, and drag affect the flight of airplanes as well as paper airplanes.
- What makes paper airplanes fly?
- Does changing the way a paper airplane is folded, have an affect on the distance it flies?
- Locate directions for making three different types of paper airplanes. Some suggested resources are provided in the bibliography.
- Gather the necessary materials.
- Fold the three different paper airplanes according to the directions?
- Determine an indoor location such as a gymnasium or auditorium to fly the planes. Flying the planes inside will keep the wind from being a factor.
- Use masking tape to mark a starting point on the floor.
- Throw each plane four times. Measure the distance each plane flew and record the distances. Use a calculator to add the distances each airplane flew and divide by four to find the average distance.
Blackburn, Ken and Jeff Lammers. The World Record Paper Airplane Book. New York: Workman Publishing, 1994.
“Learn How to Make 10 Great Paper Airplane Designs with Free, Easy-to-Follow Animated Instructions!” at www.10paperairplanes.com
“The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age” at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum website at www.nasm.si.edu/wrightbrothers
Disclaimer and Safety Precautions
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.
In addition to adding color to a classroom, defining classroom goals and policies, and showcasing student work, bulletin boards can be interactive teaching tools. Bulletin boards can be “another teacher” in your classroom. Bulletin board displays that change periodically to reflect new lessons help visual learners better understand new material, reinforce new words and concepts, and challenge students to participate in new ways.
Using Bulletin Boards to Teach
Bulletin boards can be education tools as well as colorful decorations. Teachers can use bulletin boards to teach math, language arts, geography, and other disciplines. Bulletin boards can introduce new topics and generate student interest. A bulletin board with dinosaur bones, for example, can introduce a unit on dinosaurs. Students assemble the bones into the skeleton of a dinosaur, either on their own or step-by-step, adding a bone as they complete another activity so that the skeleton emerges piece by piece. A math bulletin board might give the answer to a problem and challenge students to create all the problems they can think of with that answer.
Bulletin boards are also self-teaching tools for students. Teachers design learning activities using the boards and movable parts affixed to them and students can move from board to board during free or quiet time to complete the activity. Students can add their own literary compositions to blank bulletin boards or respond to prompts given by the teacher. Students can also voice their opinions on bulletin boards, voting on favorite books and recommending reading material to others.
Bulletin boards used as word walls can be powerful vocabulary-building tools. As students are exposed to new vocabulary, key vocabulary words are added gradually to the wall. Teachers facilitate review activities to practice the new words. Activities that allow students to interact with the word wall, such as those that involve moving the words to different categories or locations on the wall, help students understand and retain the new vocabulary.
- Rethinking the Bulletin Board: How to use bulletin boards to teach.
- Word Walls: How to create and use a word wall with your students.
Interactive Bulletin Boards
Bulletin boards that challenge students to interact with them can engage them in the learning process more effectively than static display bulletin boards. Static bulletin boards can become simply part of the classroom décor after a few weeks, while interactive bulletin boards that change according to topical lesson plans can hold student interest and help different kinds of learners assimilate the new material in their own way and at their own pace. By allowing students to help create bulletin boards and to interact with them, students take ownership of the classroom and of their own learning experience. Students are challenged to be active learners and to actively seek out new information, to create new artwork, or to achieve higher grades that will be displayed on the boards.
Students can respond to prompts issued by the teacher to help create the boards. For example, students can bring in or draw pictures of words that begin with a certain letter, or items of a certain color, and post them to the board. The teacher can then prompt students to rearrange the material according to new categories. For example, items that begin with the letter “D” can then be rearranged by categories such as “animals”, “things”, and “people”. Bulletin boards can be self-quizzes that students help create. Students can be the “experts” on part of a topic or book and create questions or clues that are posted on the bulletin board. After providing time for students to research the answers, the original posters place their answers underneath the questions. Students then move from board to board to lift the flaps and grade their quizzes.
- Making Interactive Bulletin Boards: Examples of what interactive bulletin boards are and how students interact with them.
Creating Bulletin Boards with Students
Students can interact with bulletin boards by helping to create them or to provide their content. Students can create bulletin boards by working together to create small pieces of a larger project and piecing them together to form a completed whole. Students can work together to make a map of a region under study, filling in mountains, rivers, cities, indigenous groups, and other features as they are discussed in class. Students can work together to create great works of art by painting, drawing, or making a collage of a section of a famous work of art that will then be pieced together with other student works to create the larger finished masterpiece. Building a castle or house, a nature or farm scene, or “building” an animal lets students take the lead in learning about a new topic and giving them a finished product to display, which helps them take ownership of their learning experience.
Students can also provide the content of bulletin boards. Reader’s choice bulletin boards allow students to recommend favorite books and voting bulletin boards let students voice their opinions on books, movies, or artwork. Students write and post questions about their reading material or the current lesson to question bulletin boards and other students can discuss and post answers.
Interacting with bulletin boards after their creation is important to reinforce learning. Simple review activities led by the teacher, such as question and answer games, can keep student attention focused on the board and help cement new concepts. Answer quests, in which students must move from board to board to find the answers to questions, can also help review material. Moving the pieces of the bulletin boards to categorize the information differently, such as moving the animals in a farm scene into groups according to color or size, can keep the material fresh.
- Creating Bulletin Boards: How interactive bulletin boards work and how to involve students. Site includes examples of interactive bulletin boards with explanations of how to implement them.
- Interactive Bulletin Boards: Interactive bulletin board examples and explanations of how students get involved in their creation.
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