10 Creative “Back to School” Bulletin Board Ideas

It may be summer now, but soon a new school year will begin. Most teachers will be back in their classrooms, organizing materials, and wondering what to do with those empty bulletin boards. If you’re like me, my bulletin boards are the last things I remember when preparing for the “back to school” season. So don’t wait until the last minute to brainstorm, plan ahead! Here are 10 creative “back to school” bulletin board ideas:

1. “What I Like About…” – This bulletin board idea doesn’t require much time to set up. Display the words “What I like about…” and fill in the subject you teach (“What I like about Science…”). On the first day of school, each student writes down on paper their favorite thing about your subject, then these are stapled to the board.

2. Paper Portraits – Each student receives an identical piece of paper, then draws a full-body portrait of themselves, with many individual details. Each student’s portrait is attached to the bulletin board, with a title welcoming students back to school. For fun, have various school staff also create a portrait, so students have people to search for.

3. Month-by-Month Outline – If your whole curriculum is mapped out for the school year, give a preview of what will be taught each month. List each month on the board, then display pictures or key words detailing what will be taught.

4. Fall Leaves – Create a large paper tree on your bulletin board, and cut out large fall leaves. As your students enter your classroom, they write their name and a few things about themselves on each leaf (like what they’d like to learn this school year).

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5. Reaching a Goal – If you have a class goal or challenge, use one bulletin board as a way to keep track of your progress. For instance, a map in Social Studies class can be marked to show which areas the students have learned about. Or, perhaps, a community service project for your classroom can be displayed on a bulletin board with an explanation and a running tally toward your goal.

6. Famous Birthdays and World Events – Keep a large calendar on your bulletin board to be changed every month. Update the calendar each month with important dates throughout history, as well as the birthdays of famous and historic figures.

7. “Get Thinking!” – For a bulletin board idea that will get students back in “thinking mode,” display a variety of optical illusions and brain teasers. Offer bonus points for students who turn in correct answers.

8. “Back to School” Bus – Create a large yellow school bus on your bulletin board. Each window can be filled with your students’ pictures, drawn portraits, names, or goals for the school year.

9. Motivating Words – Find inspiring quotes about education (such as “Education is the movement from darkness to light” – Alan Bloom, according to QuoteGarden), and display them on your bulletin board.

10. “Back to School Checklist” – Use a large piece of paper and draw horizontal lines to look like a big piece of notebook paper. Title it “Back to School Checklist.” Under the title, write a list of things your students should need to know about class for the coming year; it can include class rules, needed school supplies, or other importance pieces of information. Create a large paper pencil for added decoration.

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Got other creative “back to school” bulletin board ideas? Leave your suggestions below, and start off the school year on the right foot!