Displaying children’s work in meaningful ways may be a challenge for some teachers who are looking for new and creative ways to fill their classrooms with student work. Displaying children’s artwork in the classroom is a great way to motivate students and cultivate a sense of community. It also helps build self-esteem in the children, who can see their artwork and other creations on display and feel proud about what they’ve made.
Rethinking the Classroom Landscape is a wonderful teacher resource full of strategies for improving and enhancing your classroom, including classroom art display ideas. Here are five ways to display student art in your classroom that you can use today!
Display Children’s Work with Honor
Before you hand a child’s work, a good rule of thumb is to ask this question: Would I hang this picture as it is in my home? If the answer is no, then it is important to ask yourself another question: What could I do to better honor this child’s work?
- One technique for showing the importance of a child’s work is to make it gallery-presentable prior to hanging or displaying it. For example, try framing a child’s artwork with similar-type frames. Perhaps you could use unique textures such as burlap, grass cloth, or fabric for matting material.
- Exhibit children’s artwork in uncommon ways, such as using a chair with its legs cut off for a shelf, mounting a child’s drawing on a large tree cookie, or inserting children’s work and their photographs into an old windowpane that is backlit.
- Create art galleries with clusters of pictures grouped together. To create interest and variety, arrange the grouping so each picture illustrates a different type of art medium (such as watercolors, chalk, or collage).
- Give children opportunities to create displays. Rather than purchasing an alphabet train, for example, have children make it. Children can create their own by using sticks, pebbles, clay, and small pinecones to construct the letters.
- Create walls of importance by taking down the laminated posters, number charts, alphabet train, and even the commercially purchased calendar. Replace these with authentic child-created objects that are purposefully and mindfully placed on the walls. Tell children they are important.