Character education bulletin boards can enrich your character education lesson plans from day one by creating curiosity, anticipation, and suspense. You can build character education bulletin boards entirely, of course, but if you build them gradually over the whole time you are working on a unit, character education bulletin boards have much more value.
Character education bulletin boards sporting a single word or picture can arouse curiosity at the beginning of a unit. Scatter blank labels across character education bulletin boards, and you will increase curiosity. Some students will assume you ran out of preparation time. (Your administrator may, too.) Others will wonder what you intend – and when.
Nearly-empty character education bulletin boards generate anticipation for future lessons. Students look forward to seeing what you will place on them next. You can use building, growing character education bulletin boards to motivate students to focus on lessons.
As you add items, you add suspense to character education bulletin boards. Students begin to see a pattern develop. They begin to guess what will “happen next” and wait eagerly to see if they are correct.
Think of your character education bulletin boards as teaching tools, not decorations. Refrain from using them merely as interior decoration. Do not design them to prove to administrators that you are in step with the character education program. Do not even use them to celebrate character.
Character education bulletin boards should be teaching tools. They should extend the concepts presented in your lessons. They should reinforce what you are teaching. They should review, and lock concepts into memory.
Character education bulletin boards can enrich lesson plans for any age group. The key is to make them age-appropriate. Involve mature students in building their own character education bulletin boards, using real photographs to illustrate facets of the focus moral value. Teenagers can develop mind maps for character education bulletin boards, linking facets to one another, expanding their thinking on a moral value. Younger children benefit from simple graphics and limited labels.
Give variety to your character education bulletin boards to keep students engaged. Resist the trap of sameness. Yes, it is easier to place a poster on the board and add a few words or illustrations around it as you cover each trait, but that becomes boring – and it does not take long to do so.
Some teachers begin each new unit on character traits in the same way. Students learn to expect the same elements on their character education bulletin boards, and they cease to learn from them.
The use of textures on your character education bulletin boards, especially three-dimensional (3D) materials, increases their effectiveness. Textures draw and hold the attention more often throughout the day. Use cloth or woven papers for background. Instead of drawing lines or using strips of paper for lines, use colored string or yarn. Labels can be attached to small, thin boxes that will stand out from the display.
Free Character Education Bulletin Boards
The two free files below provide ideas for character education bulletin boards on the moral value respect. The mind map becomes not only an example of character education bulletin boards for mature students, but also a teaching tool.
Character education bulletin boards can enrich your character education lesson plans from day one by creating curiosity, anticipation, and suspense in any age group. Vary them, make them age appropriate, and you will be more effective.
Teacher instructions and picture of a sample character education bulletin board focusing on respect. Optional evaluation in the form of a page featuring the same bulletin board with blank labels to be completed by the student.
Mind map on respect can be used when developing lesson plans for a unit on the trait. It can also be a character education bulletin board and teaching tool for mature students. Optional evaluation is as simple as asking students to reproduce the mind map, allowing it to flow in the way their minds recall it.