Monthly archives: October 2007

Instant Halloween Classroom Displays

IMG_8618, originally uploaded by Mrs.F.

Classroom displays that build up over time have lasting impact. This one started with scarecrows, then pumpkins, cats then bats, till today:
Mrs F says:

Look, our scarecrows have morphed into trick or treaters!

Just a spot of Halloween nonsense really but the kind of quick thinking that makes for for instant topical classroom displays and a joke the kids might enjoy 🙂

Classroom Displays with a Purpose (or should that be porpoise?)


Originally by Sarah

This is one of those classroom displays that shows a splash of creative thinking goes a long way. Many primary classrooms suffer the curse of the water bottle these days. It’s important that children have access to drinking water but the bottles are a pain. If they are left on the tables there are inevitable spills and putting them on a tray at the side isn’t much better. I like this idea. It’s an elegant solution to the problem and it’s been done in a fun and attractive way. Sarah says:

A good use of shoe holders for water bottles. The children love it!

All of this doesn’t even start to address the issue of whether constant access to water really does have the benefits sometimes claimed for it. There’s a lot of emphasis on water as part of schemes like Brain Gym and I’ve seen some evidence that suggest dyslexics in particular might need extra fluids. One thing is for sure, children on ADHD medication do sometimes get very thirsty.

I do have concerns about all the environmental impact of all those plastic bottles, not to mention worries about the hygiene issues involved in re-using them.

Still this is an interesting and practical way of dealing with the problem and experience suggests that classroom displays with sharks or whales on them are always popular with children. By the way, I do realise it’s not a porpoise but I couldn’t resist the pun 🙂

Electricity display – making connections 3

Electricity display – making connections, originally uploaded by LindaH.

This  classroom display uses a good combination of photos of the children making circuits and experimenting, text boxes of their findings and a mock up of a circuit. On the bench underneath is a related book and at times there was a tray of parts for children to access and continue to experiment with.
It’s a good example of a fairly simple design often having more impact than something that is more cluttered. It’s important to note that the TA worked with groups to produce the texts and that the children’s own words were used. This and the use of images of the children gives a sense of ownership which helps the children to continue to engage with the display. It also makes up for the lack of student work on this display.
I don’t usually like using such bold colours in the main classroom but I think it is justified in this instance. The display is situated on the back wall of the classroom and no tables directly face it. It’s unlikely to be much of a distraction for a group using the classroom computer.
This display was in a Year 4 classroom and was popular with the children.

Literacy Display – Connectives and Owl Babies 6

Owl Babies is such a lovely book and lends itself very well to displays.

Here is a delightful classroom display that uses  Owl Babies  as a starting point for literacy. It is a wonderful story that  children really relate to, especially in Year 2 but even Year 3s love to read it. There’s something about the story of those three little owls, especially Percy’s constant longing for his Mummy, that really resonates for this age group.

Originally uploaded to the Classroom Displays Flickr Group by Leeds Lass : Owl day 034

Here the display has been used to show how a story webs and ladders can be used to map out plots. The display also encourages the children to make longer sentences by using connectives and time words. The display has a well thought out mix of visual imagery taken from the book, explanations, vocabulary words (interesting connectives and time words) and children’s work.
The cuddly owls, ivy and 3d tree add a real ‘wow’ factor to the display making it likely to grab children’s attention. Close inspection of the owls suggests that they are commercially made toys. However it would be possible to make something less elaborate from fun fur to achieve a similar effect. On the tree stump and branch wood grain wall paper has been used to great effect and fake ivy round the tree stump adds another attractive 3d element.
Owl day 040
Titles and text have all been laminated and the major elements of this display could be stored and brought out again another year making it fairly quick to re-create.
The children’s work has been well integrated into the display. They have used what they’ve learnt about story webs to weave one for another Year 2 favourite, The Lighthouse Keeper’s Catastrophe.

All in all I think this is a fine classroom display 🙂

Up Dated with more details:

Following a request in the comments to this post Michelle has provided us with more details of how the display linked into her literacy activities.


Drama activities based on the Owl Babies book:
Freeze frame owlets at different stages of the story

Hot seating-Babies and Mother

Conscience Alley-child in role of Mummy Owl


Set out as





Retell story of Owl Babies as a story ladder.


Time words on the branches.

Connectives are displayed within the web

Story Web

Based on Pig in the Pond-could be any sequential story. Each child wrote part of the story/illustrated it, then displayed within the web. FIRST they had done the frame activity which involved passing a ball of wool round as they each told part of the story, in and back to the middle, thereby weaving a story web.

Update – Another lovely Owl Babies display, this one from Classroom Displays Group member SunflowerLily , find the book on Amazon, owl babies puppets to buy, and some free resources
The Owl Babies book is available via Amazon from The Classroom Displays Bookshop. It usually costs £5.99 but they often reduce children’s books so it’s worth checking. The big book version, shown here is perfect for classroom use, starts at around £18 but again they are often reduced.

You can buy puppets of owls and babies. Although these are not officially endorsed by the author they will do perfectly well and would be really useful for language work, story telling and role play. This one is from The Puppet Company and is 23 cms high. The 3 babies are also puppets which gives lots of scope for collaborative use. Hide-Away Puppets Tawny Owl with 3 Babies

Have a look at  Owl Babies Teacher Resource (Read & Respond), part of the Read and Respond series. It has some great notes and activities and also shared texts, guided reading notes, reading activities, speaking and listening activities, writing projects and assessment guidace. Over a third of the book is filled with useful photocopiables – all illustrated by the original children’s book illustrators.

There are  also some free Owl Babies resourcesto download from Scholastic and for cross curricular work. How about an activity that gets learners working out What can we learn about an owl by looking at its face?

Healthy Eating Display – A taste of Spain 5

Fruit and Veg – A taste of Spain 1, originally uploaded by LindaH.

This stunning classroom display from Mrs Littman’s Year 5 class at Kingston Primary in Benfleet, Essex won a first prize of £2000 in the Taste of Spain collage competition for UK Primary schools. I strongly suspect a Teaching Assistant might have been very busy with this display 🙂 I hope she had a group helping. It’s amazing what you can do with crepe paper and it’s not nearly as time consuming as you might think.
My own favourite came from Mrs Greisens’ Year 3 class at Warren Road Primary, Orpington in Kent. This came second and won £1000 for the school. It had slightly more obvious pupil involvement I think. Some of the fruit is cut from magazines, other bits have been painted and cut out, then dried stuff has been stuck on top. I love the pictures round the edge of this one of the kids trying all the different fruit.
Fruit and Veg - A taste of Spain 7

There was whole pack of resources to go with this competition. They looked great and would be just the thing to go with Healthy Eating week. I hope they put them online again next year as they are running the competition again in 2008. The standard of displays was not impossibly high and I hope many more schools enter classroom displays next year .