Monthly archives: April 2008

Mammals and Their Habitats 1


Originally uploaded by Kardon

This inspiring display of animals and habitats was spotted by Tom Barrett at the Perlethorpe Education Centre, Newark, Nottinghamshire. Perlethorpe is an outdoor education centre which specialises in school visits. Based in the old village school on the Thoresby Estate in North Nottinghamshire the centre provides schools with a wide range of habitats to explore. These include a lake, river, farmland, woods, village and parkland. Like most outdoor ed. centres there are also classroom based activities which are linked to the National Curriculum and the QCA.

Tom added some notes to explain the making of the display:

Overhanging tree is made with some camouflage netting and leaves.

Information cards have been added to each habitat/animal.

Real bark 3D tree

There are diagrams and illustrations about the different animal homes.

Each animal is painted beautifully and attached in a way to give some depth to the display.

Leaves (real and made) form a nice border.

It could easily be adapted for classroom use, perhaps using children’s work to provide the information and diagrams. For me it is the 3d element that really makes this display magical. Click though to the large version to see more of the detail.

Our Circle of Friendship 2

IMG_1967, originally uploaded by LMH_.

This hall display was made to represent the diverse nature of the school population.

The background was divided up with masking tape and painted with fabric paint. The hands were made by children drawing round their own hands, cutting them out of felt, and sticking them on. It was made with the help of one of our school’s learning mentors, Julie Lawrence. It’s meant to symbolise the circle of friendship in our school.

I think it looks very effective with the light coming through and it carries an important message. Many of the children who worked on this were troubled in some way and the learning mentors used the making of the display as part of an informal friendship building programme.

Rainbow on the window – colourful collage 2

Rainbow Collage

Rainbow Collage

, originally uploaded by hello megan.

A vibrant window display is just the thing to cheer up a ‘spring’ classroom. I love the effect Megan has achieved with this one.
As you can see in this detail it’s collaged from magazines

Megan says:

Before class, I cut the rainbow shape out of a roll of white paper and marked the 7 color divisions. I had my class (2nd) mark which colors went where and gave them magazines to cut out any great examples of each color. Each table was assigned a color, and put their cutouts into a bowl. From there any class that had a free minute of two dug into those bowls and glued the pics on in their spot.

So you can see it’s pretty straight-forward. It really does count as a quick and easy classroom display!
I’ve done rainbows on windows before particularly with Key Stage 1 groups. The groups each did a colour. We painted the window with the following mixture:

Washable Window Paint

Tempera Paints (powdered or premixed)
Clear washing-up liquid (lemon ones work ok, green ones can make colours a bit off)

Mix powdered paint with the liquid till it is about as thick as house paint. With premixed paints just mix in a smallamount of washing-up liquid. Do not make it too runny or it will drip!

Mark out your colour areas with a dry wipe marker pen.

Let each colour dry before adding the next one.

Use masking tape to protect the window frame and be sure to spread newspaper around to protect the area.

To remove paint or touch up mistakes just wipe it off with a dry paper towel. Do not try using a wet towel or it will be a real mess!!

I think I like Megan’s way better anyway!

River Display

River Display Year 5

Originally uploaded by LindaH

I was pleased to see that flickr had introduced video this morning so I thought I’d add this example from my degree research.
This was very much a joint effort with the children involved at every stage, including the planning. Groups worked on the display over the course of a week. Vocabulary and concepts were introduced verbally as the elements of the display were built up. Labels were generated by the children, typed on the computer and laminated (by me). Finally all the sections were labelled by the children in a whole class session. This involved children choosing and agreeing where labels should go with very little adult intervention. This allowed for formative assessment and checking of grasp of concepts.
The completed display:
River display
The same topic and method, with refinements, were used the following year:
A river system

Animals Display – Key Stage One

Animal display

Creating a jungle animal display in key stage 1

This is a delightful Key Stage 1 wall display on the topic of animals. The children have been provided with some basic templates for each animal and a limited range of colours and simple patterns. In this case stripes and spots.


It’s easy to set up a classroom to do this sort of lesson either as a whole class activity or, my favourite, for rotating groups. If you go for groups you just need to set up one table for painting. A TA can cover this while the teacher works with the rest of the class on related work, perhaps a writing task. Each group or table works on one animal. Six to eight children is ideal.

You need:

A newspaper covered table
Paint brushes
A limited toning paint palate (3 tones of one colour + white) for each animal. Aim to have one between two. (Egg boxes work well as paint containers if you don’t have enough)
Pre-cut animal templates. Simple shapes work best. (I’ve got some of these tucked away somewhere as pdfs. I’ll add them soon- watch out for updates)

Talk About It

Before you start any painting talk about patterns. Demonstrate the effect you want them to use and get them to tell what sort of pattern you are making. Lots of opportunity for vocabulary extension and speaking and listening here.
Keep up the good work once they start painting by providing a commentary and encouraging a dialogue about what they are doing. Draw attention to children who are really concentrating and working well.

The Background

The background could be made from painted strips. If you have more groups than you have animals this works quite well. Otherwise the whole class can help you collage strips of tissue or crepe paper. Tear them rather than cut for a more interesting effect.

The 3d Effect

One of the best things about this display is the way the monkeys are leaning out of it. This gives a really strong 3d effect. Doing it this way does mean a little extra work. The monkeys will need to be painted on one side, left to dry and then painted on the other. Attach them at the top of the display to avoid them being torn by over-enthusiastic viewers 🙂

Animals display, originally uploaded by loulrc.