It takes a lot of work to impress middle school students with a bulletin board. They aren't enthused with simple math tables, cell renderings or cheesy motivational quotes. Inspire them to begin thinking about the world around them in a whole new way. Use your classroom bulletin board to spark conversation among the students and stimulate their imaginations.
Appearances are Deceiving
Hang pictures of attractive young adults from red ribbons on one side of the bulletin board. On the backs of the pictures write the person's age when infected with HIV, how many medications that person takes each day and a brief bio of the struggles, both physical and emotional, they face. On the other side of the bulletin board list statistics surrounding the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Include the percentage of people who were infected with HIV the first time they had sex, infected by someone who didn't know he had the virus, infected through oral sex and infected by someone who blatantly lied about her HIV status.
Entice the students to begin thinking outside the box as they dream of their futures. Use the bulletin board to highlight unusual careers. Post a picture of a makeup artist who works on the deceased. A rodeo clown looks like fun but can be quite dangerous. Most of the kids probably watch all of those crime scene investigation shows but are they aware that there are job openings for the people who clean up those gruesome real life scenes? Include the salaries, perks and down sides of each career.
Discoveries We Could Have Done Without
Ask your students what inventions or discoveries they feel harmed or have the potential for misuse or harm in the future. Have them find a picture to go along with a one page report detailing how it negatively impacted the world and what they would have done to change it. Hang these reports and pictures on the bulletin board. After the board is filled with the reports and pictures, give each student a sticky note and ask them to comment on a report other than their own. What emotions do the pictures evoke? What solutions can they offer that are different than the ones listed in the reports?
Look at You Now
Instruct the students to bring baby photos of themselves to class. Collect the photos and on one side of the bulletin board post all of their baby pictures, numbering each. Hang their most recent school pictures on the other side, giving each one a letter designation. Hold a contest for the classroom and see who can correctly match the most baby photos with current photos.
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