Pirate Ship and Other Pirate Displays

Pirate boat literacy display

Pirates are a great theme for classroom displays and this ship is a particularly lively one. Lots of super vocabulary words and phrases, dastardly pirates and a rather good sea really make this an excellent learning and reference resource.
I think this may be a Year 2 class, as they are working on speech bubbles. Year 3 and 4 are also ideal for pirate topics. It fits very well with the literacy target of writing a story in chapters and working with the adventure story genre. It’s much more fun though if you can bring in some cross curricular elements.
Some of these ideas have been adapted from the Belair display books, which are a great source of inspiration. You’ll find a range of them in the book store

aaar!, originally uploaded by Sunflower Lily.

Captain Capacity

Captain Capacity (adapted from the Belair series)

Pirate Role Play Area

Pirate themed role play corner

Update -More Pirate Resources

Pirates-Display-BannerTwinkl have some lovely pirate resources (free to download or order them printed and delivered for a small fee), including some lovely banners to print, a treasure map design activity and role play masks. Well worth looking at – find them here :

Find Pirate Resources on Twinkl with their search tool

Even more Pirate goodies on Teaching Ideas – Pirates

See Also:

Pirate Pop-Ups – moving toys in Year 3

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.

History Classroom Displays -Then and Now 6

History display, Then and Now

This is a lovely history classroom wall display for a key stage 1 class. The Then and Now topic is interesting but can be tricky for Year 1. They have so little concept of the past at this age. Last year seems an age ago to some of them 🙂
It’s a great opportunity for embedding ICT though. It’s worth remembering that ICT in Key Stage 1 isn’t all about computers. I’ve seen it taught very effectively using the following resources:

  • Tape recorder to tape invited in grandparent’s recollections of the seaside,
  • a Slideshow of seaside images from the past up on the IWB
  • Magic Grandad Seaside Holiday (Magic Grandad) used on the IWB
  • Begged and borrowed photos of the local seaside, then and now (This was in Lancaster so Morecambe is just down the road)
  • Learning and recording a variety of old seaside songs (favourites like “Oh I do like to be beside the seaside” etc.)
  • A classroom timeline border that stayed up and got longer through the year.
  • Softease timeline CD
  • Clicker grids for My Seaside Holiday
  • Role play room transformed into a beach and seaside cafe.
  • Robust hand held tape recorders for interviewing each other in role

Image Source:Angela Oxen

An Interactive Story Starters Wall Display 4

Story Starters, originally uploaded by Glazgow.

You can’t have too many ideas for story starter classroom displays. Here’s another gem and this time the phrases have come from the class:

The children did a “Walkabout, Talkabout” and came up with all the ideas for Where, When, Who and What could happen in a story.

They now use the display to help them chose characters, setting etc for their story writing.

I like the use of colour in this display. The colours actually add meaning helping the children to classify the phrases. It’s also not too busy.
Story Starters
Using the class to generate the scenarios and phrases is much more powerful than just providing them.They will feel more ownership of the display if they know it is based on their ideas. It is just vitally important that the staff resist the temptation to just pop up the same words next year, as they’ve got them already laminated 🙁 This sort of recycling happens too often and when it does engaging classroom displays lose much of their impact.

Interactive Displays – word wall 1

IMG_1791, originally uploaded by LMH_.

This is a good example of a classroom display that was really interactive. The word wall was used by children in a multi-age Speech and Language Unit to help them with their story writing.
It’s really important for this kind of display that it was placed at a child friendly height and that children had free access to it in independent time as well as during the literacy hour. They could use it to tell oral stories to talk partners first before they did any writing.
The folders you can see at the bottom of the display contained cards more with words or pictures. The children could then use those to help them structure their story.
They could choose a ‘Who’ card from the wall, perhaps a spaceman. Write one sentence or more, depending on the age and ability of the child, about the spaceman. Then go to the ‘Where’ folder and choose a setting and so on.
Those less able might just sequence the cards whilst the more able used them to tell quite complex stories.

It’s a good technique in the mainstream classroom too and an interesting way to use a classroom display area.