There’s nothing like a travel classroom theme to help inspire curiosity, foster an explorer’s mindset, and give your kids a little global perspective—even if many of your students aren’t yet travelers themselves. (Emphasis on the yet.)
1. Use your classroom door to let students know they’re taking an adventure.
You can show students your travel theme first thing with artful door décor. The Now Boarding message will let students know they are taking an adventure when they enter your classroom.
2. Make map art.
An old map can get new life as travel-themed art. Add inspiring words or one of these cool quotes curated from EF Tours about travel, using die-cut letters or permanent markers.
3. Call your homework assignment boards road maps.
On your designated whiteboard, chalkboard, or bulletin board areas that show the week’s assignments, a Weekly Roadmap sign cleverly continues your travel theme.
4. Put up an interactive postcard display.
Postcards from your own travels can do double duty as art and provide teaching moments about international destinations. Invite your students to bring in their own family postcards to add to the display.
5. Use vintage luggage for book displays.
Old luggage from your parents, grandparents, or a thrift store makes for clever and cute storage for paperbacks. It’s a travel-themed take on the book bin and allows titles to be easily seen by students.
6. Frame geography-themed board games.
History and social studies teachers are known for sharing their love of Risk! and other world affairs-themed board games with their students. If you have old games that are missing pieces, or pick them up cheaply at thrift stores, display the boards’ cool artwork of the seven continents on your walls. By the way, our friends at EF Educational Tours lead groups of teachers and students to destinations on six out of seven of these continents (someday, Antarctica!) as well as many different types of tours for various areas of study.
7. Drive home travel with a road trip themed display table.
Grab some black paper and all the books you can find about road trips, domestic travel and transportation. Add an iconic green and white road sign, and your students will be transported during their library or classroom visits.
8. Give travel books an aspirational display.
Another awesome book display idea. This one places books about travel or set in far off lands front and center for reading ideas, easy borrowing and decoration, too. Be sure to subscribe (for free!) to the EF Journal and feature in your travel section.
9. Brand your lost and found area the baggage claim.
All it takes is simple signage and suitcase clip art printed on labels to brand your coat closet or bag hook area baggage claim.
10. Turn a bulletin board into a flight information display “screen.”
This is a super idea for that random bulletin board you never know how to fill. Transform it into a flight- or train-information screen with black paper and white or green lettering. Feature cities you’re covering in your curriculum. Your creativity is sure to bump you to first class in the classroom-theme department.
11. Adopt a favorite country as your overall theme …
Rather that focusing on general travel, or international or domestic locations, why not choose a particular country? We love this Spanish teacher’s homage to Mexico!
12. … or a particular historic period.
> SOURCE: https://cassiestephens.blogspot.com[/caption]
Art teacher Cassie Stephens adopts a different destination classroom theme each year. For her ancient Egypt theme, she sponge-stamped dollar store straw mats and painted her windows. During the year she incorporated ancient Egyptian techniques and history into her students’ art lessons.
13. Jazz up a neutral palette with colorful flags.
If in years past you stuck to a neutral theme, such as black and white or beige and brown, just add colorful international or U.S. state flags for some pops of color.
14. Study world flags and then invite students to design their own flags.
You can also offer a lesson on the flags of different countries by inviting students to research flag designs. After they learn about what the colors and symbols represent, invite them to create their own flags that symbolize their own lives and origins. Then all you have to do is display the students’ work. Don’t you love it when assignments become classroom art?
15. Add an international skyline display to a frame for a “window” into another land.
A large picture frame or unused window can reveal a skyline to another land. Crafty teacher Gennai Henning of Bungalow 327 asked her art teacher colleague to draw the Paris skyline so her students would feel like they were really there. Wow! You could also create a group project with your students to recreate or create a skyline, or you could hang a panoramic photograph poster.
16. Use a map to showcase the settings of books your students will read in the coming year.
This school library decoration links the books on display to their international settings. A map, yarn, and color copies of book covers come together to provide beautiful reading inspiration. Another piece of inspiring reading material is the free EF Tours Journal. Every issue includes inspiration for your classroom, interviews, and unique perspectives on travel. The journal is a celebration of globally minded educators.
17. Add a world map rug.
If it’s time for you to order a new classroom rug, search for a world map design. You can also pick up a world map welcome map, so that when students cross your classroom threshold they subtly enter a new world of learning.
18. Repurpose thrift store clocks for a time zone display.
Make your classroom feel like a cosmopolitan hotel and teach your students about time zones with a display of multiple clocks. Set each clock to a different local time in the world or within your country and label the time zones.
19. Add an oversized wall map to an empty wall.
Oversized sticky murals make wall art and map displays a cinch and offer lots of possibilities for travel learning and dreams.
20. Inspire your students with examples of global good.
Add images of historical or current global activists to a bulletin board map display. You will inspire your own students to become good global citizens and make the world a better place.
EF Tours is committed to helping teachers easily organize travel that helps them challenge their students’ assumptions, spark connections, and inspire curiosity. Interested in a leading a tour? Get started today.
Want to learn more about incorporating travel learning into your classroom? Check out the EF Tours Travel Channel here on WeAreTeachers.