You know the the feeling you get when you walk into a classroom in which there is a true love and appreciation for books? It’s palpable. I like to call it bookish culture, which I define as a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that relates to positive experiences with books, reading, and literacy.
From book clubs to book fit, there are a million and one ways teachers can create a bookish culture in their classroom. One of my favorites is by surrounding students with visual reminders. Classroom decorations have the power to convey unstated messages about what is important.
In this post, you’ll find some of my favorite reading bulletin boards that combine both books and pop culture. I created these so that each of the boards relates to a particular subject area. However, you can make them more versatile.
IDEAS FOR READING BULLETIN BOARDS
Bookflix Bulletin Board
Want to appeal to students who would prefer to watch a movie over reading a book? Try a bookflix board, which is a play off of Netflix. Involve students in the process of selecting books and creating categories. You can also use it as a unique way to create reading lists. Find the kit and student activity here.
Tip: Add some fake popcorn for a little flair.
Cater to the kids who love selfies and all things social media with this bookstagram board. Choose a name that pertains to your school’s mascot or class pet to personalize it, and incorporate fun hashtags. List your students’ favorite authors under “Followed by…” Ask students to think about appropriate highlight button images, or use the ones in this free kit.
Tip: If you have more than nine students who want to participate, display students’ pictures on the wall around the board.
Screens surround us. What teenager doesn’t appreciate an iPad or phone? Use the relevance of technology to pique students’ interest about new or popular reads. Want to add another layer of tech-savviness? Add QR codes to each book cover to take students straight to a Goodreads page or book trailer video.
Tip: In order to size the apps, insert a rounded square shape on top each the book cover in your creation tool of choice. Then, cut off the excess after printing.
Spotify Bulletin Board
Spotify is currently one of the most popular music apps around. This board is a great way to incorporate categories of books. Create playlists for genres, subject-related content, or favorites lists. This board highlights texts that relate to enrichment courses.
Find an engaging student reading activity that plays off of the Spotify title here.
Tip: For each playlist, you’ll need to identify who created it. Use authors, students, or teachers as creators to make it more relevant. If you aren’t familiar with Spotify, study the original layout before designing your board. The one pictured below is modified to make better use of space.
Calculator Bulletin Board
I’ve heard so many students declare themselves in the “math camp.” I like math, so I don’t like ELA. This reasoning doesn’t make sense to me! Students can enjoy both math and reading. Enjoying one doesn’t necessitate a dislike of the other. After all, there are plenty of books that incorporate math and logic-related topics. Make use of the numbers on the calculator by creating reasons why reading matters.
#1 – I used butcher paper for all of these boards, simply because it was the most cost-effective for me. If you’d like your bulletin boards to last longer, consider using fabric and laminating as many pieces as possible.
#2 – If you are satisfied with your penmanship, you can do a lot of the writing on these boards freehand with metallic Sharpie markers and chalk markers.
#3 – To attach the book covers and other printouts, I used Scotch mounting squares and double-sided adhesive tape rollers. If you’d like to be able to switch out your books, you might consider using velcro dots with sticky backs.
#4 – Involve students as much as possible! If your bulletin boards will feature their faces, make sure to ask first. Or, ask students to help you create the list of books to include. If you’re brave, have them help you create the board. It’s okay if your board is a work in progress that is completed throughout the year. When students finish reading books or after you complete a read aloud, ask them if they think the book is worth adding to the reading bulletin boards.
#5 – If you are short on bulletin boards, it’s okay. You can also create these displays on doors or open wall space. Consider putting them in the library or the hallway!
If you decide to create one of these reading bulletin boards (or a different kind!), tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. I’d love to see how you are using decor to create a bookish culture in your classroom.
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Find four different bulletin board kits with corresponding student reading activities to start setting up or adding to your classroom’s bookish culture.