Daily archives: Friday,

On safari – a jungle in the classroom 4

Transformational classroom displays are particularly popular in early years and key stage 1 settings. This reading area has become a jungle, complete with an elephant,lion and tiger. Most of the animals have been made and painted by the children, with some adult assistance. The result is a high interest area with lots to talk about.

Making displays like this can be a huge stimulus for speaking and listening but once the display is up staff often need to make an effort to remember to keep referring to elements in the display. Adding labels and other text can re-vitalise a display. A favourite addition is laminated speech bubbles so that asking questions like “How does the elephant feel today?” can give the children even more opportunity for expression and contribute to a text rich environment.

Once children and staff get used to the display and it loses the “wow” factor, it has to go. There is a great temptation with displays like this to forget their purpose and treat them like pretty wallpaper.

Displays like this need to be treated with a little caution. Whilst it can be great fun to transform a whole classroom too much stimulation can be very challenging for some children. Keeping some areas visually quiet and uncluttered is also a consideration.