Looking for some fast and easy science bulletin boards? Surprisingly, you’ll find the materials on your bookshelves! First, dust off those unused trade books. Then cut them apart and slap them up.
Ms. Sneed Wants New Science Bulletin Boards
Our favorite fourth grade teacher, Ms. Sneed, was looking for a science bulletin board to go with her light activities.
“Why not use your trade books?” suggested her colleague, Mr. Frank. “They have colorful photos and brief text.”
“What? Cut a book apart?” Ms. Sneed’s stared at her friend in surprise.
“Yep. Once you’ve begun, you’ll find many uses for cut-apart books. If you use two copies, you can hang the entire book. That way, kids can read the wall. It’s an active way to add reading to your science unit.
“Additionally,” Mr. Frank continued, “you can use two-page spreads for informational text skills. For example, I recently used Horses by Seymour Simon for a main idea activity.”
Ms. Sneed looked skeptical, but she agreed.
Use Trade Books for Easy Science Bulletin Boards
The next morning, Mr. Frank knocked on Ms. Sneed’s door. “Are you ready for some book cutting?”
Ms. Sneed cringed slightly but nodded her head.
1: Choose a Book
“First, let’s choose a book.” The pair perused trade books on Ms. Sneed’s shelf.
“Here’s a good one: Light and Its Effects by Jenna Winterberg,” said Mr. Frank. “It has engaging images, clear headings, and brief text. Fortunately, it’s also organized in two-page spreads.”
2: Crease Along the Spine
Ms. Sneed paged through the book. “Looks good,” she said.
As Mr. Frank worked, he talked through the directions. “First, open the book. Then press hard along the spine. This loosens the glue.”
He pulled a utility knife from his pocket. “Next, cut firmly along the edge of each page.” After cutting along the center of the book, he turned each page and repeated the process.
4: Pull Apart
“You can see that the pages are glued in very well. Even after cutting, they’re still attached. Therefore, you need to grasp the page and tear it out.” Mr. Frank carefully tugged on the page and tore it from the binding.
5: Choose Pages & Trim Edges
Ms. Sneed looked over the pages of the book. “My bulletin board is small,” she said. “So I can only fit about eight pages.” After shuffling through the stack a few times, she made her choices.
“The edges are a little ragged,” Mr. Frank said. “Let’s use your paper cutter to trim them.”
“I’ll get some paper to mount them,” said Ms. Sneed. She pulled four 12 x 18″ pieces of orange construction paper from her cabinet. “If I glue the pages onto the paper, I can keep them from year to year.”
Ms. Sneed Creates Awesome Bulletin Board Letters
“Hmm, you need some letters,” said Mr. Frank. “Let’s really make them pop.”
“You can make stunning bulletin board letters with PowerPoint. First, insert the desired background shape.”
Ms. Sneed commandeered the keyboard. “Let me look in my clip art file.” After a few clicks she found a set of light images created by Educlips. “Here, this sun will be perfect.”
“Stretch it to cover most of the slide,” Mr. Frank said. He watched as Ms. Sneed pulled it to the desired size.
“Then insert a letter on top of the slide. Change the font, size, and color.” Ms. Sneed added a text box and fiddled with the first letter: L.
“To create more letters, duplicate the slide,” Mr. Frank continued. “Then change the letter.”
Ms. Sneed was getting the hang of it. She copied the slide three more times until she had an entire set of letters for her light bulletin board.
“Now you can just print these out on tagboard,” Mr. Frank said. “Later you can have your early finishers cut them out.”
More Light Media
The next day, Mr. Frank stopped by to see the finished product. “Whoa! That looks great!”
More Bulletin Boards
That year, Ms. Sneed experimented with different types of bulletin boards. For her light unit, she cut up trade books and asked students to read the wall. During the sound unit, she got creative with clip art. When the thermal energy unit rolled around, she added a liquid crystal sheet for an interactive bulletin board. Yes, Ms. Sneed was on a roll. She created a light-up electricity board, as well as a plant display with growing seeds. Our favorite fourth grade teacher was truly enjoying teaching.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Sneed realized that there were 6 steps to enjoy teaching. In order to survive, she had to organize, plan, and simplify. Then, to thrive, Ms. Sneed needed to learn, engage, and finally – dive in! Follow the Fabulous Teaching Adventures of Ms. Sneed and learn how you can enjoy teaching too.