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6 Ways You Can Transform Your ELA Classroom Into an Inspiring Learning Environment

Welcome to a journey of creativity and inspiration for your ELA classroom decor! Transforming your learning environment into a space that is both inviting and educational is not just about aesthetics; it’s about creating a dynamic setting where students feel motivated to learn and express themselves

In this post, we’ll explore six innovative ways to enhance your ELA classroom, from themed decor ideas to displays that showcase student work. Whether you’re looking to promote diverse authors, organize your space more effectively, or simply add a touch of whimsy, these ideas are designed to elevate your classroom decor while enriching the learning experience. 

Let’s dive in and discover how you can create a space that fosters creativity, engagement, and a love for literature!

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Use a cohesive ELA-adjacent theme 

Creating a cohesive ELA-adjacent theme in your classroom doesn’t have to be babyish or overly cutesy. In fact, you can decorate your ELA classroom in a way that’s inviting and inspiring for older students. 

Imagine transforming your classroom into a cozy haven with vibes reminiscent of a coffee shop or a beloved book nook. Or, for a touch of fantasy, consider themes like steampunk, or literature-based themes like Lord of the Rings, or Alice in Wonderland. For even more classroom theme ideas that aren’t too childish for middle or high school, check out this post.

Create fun ELA bulletin boards

Creating fun ELA bulletin boards is an excellent way to make your classroom both educational and engaging. 

Picture a giant hamburger on your wall to illustrate how a well-structured paragraph is like a hamburger – the top bun represents the topic sentence, the juicy layers of meat, cheese, and veggies symbolize the supporting details, and the bottom bun holds it all together with a strong concluding sentence. 

Click here to get this bulletin board from my TPT shop!

Another creative idea is a fun octopus display showcasing the eight parts of speech. Each tentacle can represent a different part of speech, with examples and definitions attached. This fresh approach makes grammar more accessible and memorable. 

Click here to get this bulletin board from my TPT shop!

For a quirky twist, why not create a bulletin board that explores genres through the lens of dog breeds? Imagine a display titled “If Dog Breeds Were Literally Genres, Which Would They Be?”

You could compare a loyal, dependable Labrador to the timeless classic genre, or a playful, unpredictable Jack Russell to the exciting adventure genre. Fun discussions and even friendly arguments will break out among your students as they discuss genre. 

Click here to get this bulletin board from my TPT shop!

These engaging and inspiring bulletin boards not only decorate your ELA classroom but also provide valuable student references, making your space both aesthetic and educational.

Put together helpful word walls 

Putting together helpful word walls is an effective way to create an inspiring and engaging ELA classroom. Word walls are fantastic for student reference and encourage independent learning, significantly cutting down on the number of questions directed at you. They serve as a quick and easy way for students to find the information they need right in front of them.

Consider creating a grammar word wall featuring lists of prepositions, conjunctions, or helping verbs. 

Click here to shop ELA word walls in a variety of themes!

Additionally, you can put up terms and definitions posters for literary devices, grammar terms, and more. Imagine a wall filled with colorful and inviting posters that break down literary devices like metaphors, similes, and alliteration, along with their definitions and examples. 

Build a PoetTree

Creating a “PoetTree” is a fantastic way to make your ELA classroom both inviting and inspiring, providing a versatile and engaging centerpiece for your decor. Start by crafting a tree display on one of your walls, using paper, fabric, or even string lights to outline the branches and trunk. This display can be used year-round for various poetry-related activities and more.

To honor poets’ contributions to literature, display poets’ names on the leaves, transforming your tree into a tribute to literary greats. You can also write the names of famous poems on the leaves, introducing students to significant works in an engaging and visually appealing way. To make it even more interactive, invite students to write their own poems on the leaves and display them proudly on the tree. This not only showcases student work but also fosters a sense of ownership and pride in their creations.

Click here to save tons of time by grabbing the PoetTree from my TPT shop!

For educational reference, provide poetic device terms and definitions on the leaves. This is a quick and easy way to help students remember important literary concepts. Additionally, print short poems on the leaves for students to take and enjoy, turning your PoetTree into a source of daily inspiration. You can also have students copy their favorite poems onto leaves, personalizing the display and creating a rich tapestry of literary tastes.

Encourage students to write the titles of poems they read throughout the year on leaves, watching as the tree fills up with literary inspiration. To spark creativity, write poetry prompts on leaves and let students “pick” them when they need a nudge in the right direction. You can also write words or phrases on each leaf and have students create poems using the words they select.

Finally, deepen their understanding by having students add leaves with examples of featured poetic devices. This turns your PoetTree into a living collection of examples, enriching their learning experience and decorating your ELA classroom in a meaningful and beautiful way.

Display visual literary timelines

Displaying visual literature timelines is an excellent way to decorate your ELA classroom while sparking interest in diverse authors. These timelines provide an engaging and inspiring way for students to explore the rich history of literature.

Consider a timeline of British or American literature, showcasing key authors and their works from different periods. This visual journey through literary history can help students understand the evolution of themes, styles, and genres. 

Click here to check out the visual timelines. (The pennants pictured are from Study All Knight on TPT.)

For Black History Month, or any time of year, put together a timeline of Black authors. This display honors the powerful voices and stories that have shaped and continue to influence literature. Similarly, during Women’s History Month, or throughout the year, a timeline of female authors celebrates the incredible contributions of women to literature. This not only promotes diverse authors but also empowers students by showcasing role models who have broken barriers and made significant impacts in the literary world.

By decorating your ELA classroom with these timelines, you create a dynamic and educational space that fosters a love for literature and celebrates the diverse voices that enrich it.

Showcase student work

Showcasing student work in your ELA classroom not only celebrates their achievements but also inspires and motivates other students. While it can be challenging to find creative ways to display student work, incorporating visual components can make a significant impact.

One innovative idea is to give each student an outline of a pair of glasses to decorate. Ask them to write a reading response on the glasses about how the piece they just read changed their perspective. Label the display “Reading Changes Our Perspective” to emphasize the transformative power of literature. This project not only encourages reflection but also creates a visually striking display that engages both students and visitors to your classroom.

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After completing an independent reading novel, consider assigning a character metamorphosis project. Have students select a dynamic character from their book and compare their changes throughout the work to a butterfly’s life cycle. Ask students to create colorful posters illustrating each stage of their character’s metamorphosis. This not only deepens their understanding of character development but also showcases their creativity and analytical skills.

Click here to get the Character Metamorphosis Book Project from my TPT shop!

Another engaging project idea is to have students create their own snow globes based on the books they read. Each snow globe should include elements that correspond with the theme, setting, and characters of the novel. This hands-on approach allows students to visually represent key elements of the story while also honing their artistic and storytelling abilities.

Click here to get the Book Snow Globe Project from my TPT shop!

By implementing these creative assignments with visual components, you not only decorate your ELA classroom with student work but also foster a dynamic learning environment where students can showcase their unique perspectives and creativity. This approach encourages active participation and appreciation for literature, making your classroom an inspiring space for all.

As you embark on transforming your ELA classroom into a vibrant and inspiring space, I encourage you to implement these ideas and make them your own. 

Do you have any additional tips or questions about ELA classroom decor? I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s continue the conversation on creating enriching environments for learning and literary exploration together.

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