Teacher Helpline: How Do I Handle an Empty “Student Work” Bulletin Board?

Teacher Larry writes:  “I set up a writing station board for my eighth-grade English class. I am planning on posting student work in the future, but it is quite bare now. Any ideas on what I can put up? I […]

Teacher Larry writes: 

“I set up a writing station board for my eighth-grade English class. I am planning on posting student work in the future, but it is quite bare now. Any ideas on what I can put up? I was thinking of pictures of some of my favorite writers.”

Bulletin boards dedicated to student work can be tricky in September when students haven’t produced any work for your class yet. We love Larry’s idea of posting pictures of favorite writers, and we love these ideas from other teachers too!

  • I would hang colorful clipboards (you can always use bright duct tape on boring brown ones) on that board. Put up temporary bios of your favorite writers or covers of classic novels. Then, it’s easy to take those down and put up student work. —Karen P.
  • How about thought-provoking quotes? —Lorraine A.
  • Post pictures that conjure story ideas: misty mountains, a cityscape, interesting people. —Kathleen C.
  • Post a favorite sentence from a writer or book, and then challenge students to use it as a mentor sentence and craft their own in the style of the writer. This could lead to a natural conversation or even a structured lesson on grammar, sentence structure and word choice. —Marta A.
  • Try a “Work in Progress” or “Under Construction” sign. —Amber S.
  • Find out if the students visited any other city/state/country during the summer. Let them post their pictures and have them write about their trip to the area. —Belinda M.
  • Have students hang pictures and “author biographies” of themselves. —Shirley D.
  • What about information on writing styles, audience, punctuation, how to write a paragraph, and of course, the writing process? —Corey G.
  • Leave it like it is! I love these plain boards that show that there needs to be more added, and you are waiting on the students to complete it. —Ariel E. 

Do you have a few burning teaching questions of your own? Join the conversation at the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE.

Posted by WeAreTeachers Staff

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