Sunday, January 22, 2006

Teaching Walls

I like to decorate large for my classrooms. It really brightens up the room and the kids love it. I think it's important to use every means available to teach our kids. If there is a blank wall, it's a perfect opportunity to reinforce the lesson at hand. It's great as a discussion starter, a chance to review and will even teach those kids with wandering eyes during class. They can't help but look at what you're talking about if it's plastered all over the wall.

Here are pictures of three of the classroom walls.

David the Shepherd Boy

David and Goliath

David as the king

Yes, that's an oscillating fan attached to the wall. I know it looks kind of strange, but it works great. It doesn't get in the way during class and is near the only outlet (underneath the light switch). Danny (my husband) thought it was fitting to have the king being fanned as he sat on his throne.
All of these pictures are came either from Soul-ly For kids, a coloring book, or (as in the case of Goliath) a picture we had on file from Ideashop.

For anyone who doesn't know how to make lifesize pictures like these, here's the way I do it:

  • Find a picture in one of the sources listed above or Palma Smiley's To Toddlers With Love (excellent simple drawings). The simpler the drawing the better. If you're talented in drawing, draw your own.

  • Copy the picture on acetate (like you would use on an overhead).

  • Using an overhead projector, project the picture on the wall you plan to decorate. Move the project backwards or forwards until the picture is the size you want.

  • Use whatever colored paper you choose. Bulletin board paper works great. Don't use construction paper. It fades quickly. Tape the paper to the wall. Trace out the part of the picture that will be that color. Cut it out. Label it (left arm, right eyebrow, etc).

  • After the pieces are cutout, put it all together just like a puzzle. You can glue it all together and put it up on the wall as one picture, or you can staple each piece to the wall individually. I usually staple it, but if you glue it, you will probably be able to take it down in one piece and have to use the next time you teach that subject.

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