One of my favorite bulletin boards that I like to do with my students is our "How Does Your Garden Grow" board. We read the book Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens along with informational text about plants and gardens. Then we make a T-chart to list the different plants we would find in a garden. You can see a picture example at end of this blog post for the T-chart explanation. After creating the chart, we are then ready to use art to show what we have learned.
How to make this bulletin board:
1. The blue back ground is actually material that I purchased. I use material for my bulletin board as it holds up better by not wrinkling, tearing, or fading. I try to choose material that will complement the different themes that I do throughout the year. This material actually has clouds on it which lets me use it for many different bulletin boards. Plus the soft colors make the other colors pop.
2. The bottom part is plain white butcher paper. I tear off a long sheet that is the length of one of my long tables. The children use brown finger paint to create the soil. My students LOVE this part and it is a great sensory activity that promotes cooperative learning too (staying in your space). One suggestion is to have them wear old paint shirts because they tend to lean over on the table.
3. I use card stock to cut out the patterns for the vegetables. The children paint the shapes then stick color tissue paper on top of the wet paint. This gives it a textured look. You don't have to glue the tissue paper down because it will stick as it dries.
4. For the corn, I purchase green raffia ribbon from a local craft store such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby. It usually lasts me two years. I untwist the ribbon and let the children glue it to the back of the corn patterns. The yellow part is actually dry corn from a local feed store - Atwoods. This part is great fine motor practice as they pick up the kernels and glue them to the paper. I set out large cardboard lids (copy machine paper lids) so the vegetables can dry.
Here is a picture of our T-Chart.
Did you notice I used real photographs in the chart above? I use real photographs when creating informational charts because it helps young children connect the picture to the vocabulary word. Clip art is fun, but using the "real photograph" will help your students with comprehension. Of course, bringing in the actual items that are on the chart is an added bonus. One of my favorite places to get open domain - copyright free images is www.morguefile.com. Enter the photo you are looking for in the search box, then download to your computer. I create separate folders by theme, so I have real photographs readily available.
Here are some of my favorite books from Amazon.
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