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.

Phonics Display – Our word wall 5

Our word wall, originally uploaded by Glazgow.

Several people have asked for phonics classroom displays. I’m not surprised as they are hard to do well. One approach, that produces a really interactive display, is to go for a word wall.
Glazgow did this one with a Primary 3 (7 year olds) class in Scotland. He says

Our word wall (window actually). Has all the phonemes, the alphabet, common words (tricky words) and punctuation. It also has 6 lines which can be used to make sentences when working with the children.

This is a great working display that can be brought out year after year. It can be used by individuals, groups or for whole class teaching. All that needs to be done is to laminate everything and use lots of sticky putty.
It’s important that it is placed at child height so that it can be used easily.
I’m in two minds about using window space this way. There are good arguments both for and against. What do you think?

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 :

Pirate Resources on Twinkl

Even more Pirate goodies on Teaching Ideas – Pirates

See Also:

Pirate Pop-Ups – moving toys in Year 3