There is a place in school for gorgeous classroom displays like this one, that have a real, magical, ‘Wow factor’. Displays like this don’t have much input from the children, don’t showcase work. However, they can be used as a focus for speaking and listening, just so long as staff make the effort to keep referring to them.
This display would not be hard to copy. You just need some sort of shiny background for the sky area. The figures could be traced from The Snowman big book or even scanned, printed off in grey scale, blown up to A3, then coloured in with good pencil crayons and outlined in black felt pen. This version does have hand cut letters which can be time consuming. It’s always worth laminating them when you do use them and storing them for future use. I usually pop them in a plastic pocket in my folder. Oh, and don’t forget to paper clip the letters for each word. Saves lots of sorting! I think I’d get the children involved in making the houses and the trees. You might end up with a few more, and they might not be quite so similar to the book, but I still couldn’t resist getting them involved 🙂
I think having at most one “wow” display in the classroom, or better yet in shared areas, is quite acceptable. Children can be quite entranced by them and this one graced our library for a whole winter term. When the time came to take it down the children were quite sad and if I’m honest so was I 🙂 Every time I looked at it my mind supplied the first few notes of “Flying in the Air”.
When I was researching the effectiveness of different types of displays for my degree I found some interesting responses from a group of Year 5 children that slightly took me by surprise. They absolutely loved some of the “wow factor” displays and talked with great fondness of ones they remembered from previous years. Not only that, but where some of those displays had been well integrated with the work the children mixed their memories of the display with their reflections on what they had learnt. Good stuff!
So decorative classroom displays can have a greater impact on learning that you might first suppose.