Movies, stars, popcorn — bring it all together for a fun classroom theme that lends itself to art, social studies, and technology lessons.
Use big paper stars and put everyone’s name up in lights for a fun bulletin board. Slogans:
- We’re stars
- Starring us
- Red Carpet Treatment
- Celebrity Learning
- Oscar winning performance!
- Ready for our close-up!
- And the winner is…
There are a couple of bulletin board sets for this theme:
Edupress has a set that works well in specific classes like math or reading, or for a general theme.
Eureka’s movie decorative set uses photos for a high level of realism.
- Classic Hollywood Icons Hanging Wall Cutouts include old style movie reels, clapper board, lights, and film camera.
- 15′ Red Carpet Runner and Awards Night Doorway Panel are great for end of school year awards, or to start school off with optimism.
- Star Peel ‘n Place is a big temporary sticker that looks like the stars outside Groman’s Chinese Theater. Put it on your door with “Mrs. Kinsel’s Stars” or “Mr. Morgan’s Crew” to set the mood. Write your name on yourself — use Vis a Vis markers.
- Clapper Board adds authenticity to your classroom movies. Maybe a Director’s Megaphone, too? Give these props to kids and make them responsible for keeping the filming on track.
- Educational Insights Eggspert and Classroom Jeopardy keep the celebrity feel even when you’re practicing with facts.
- Popcorn boxes cutouts from Trend are another option for writing kids’ names. They have room for pictures, too. I also like these for a “popcorn words” bulletin board — collect the words that “pop up” in books and class discussions on a bulletin board and use them for word study. More on that below!
- Realistic Popcorn Trimmer or Edupress layered popcorn border will give you a great start for your bulletin boards. There are also popcorn name plates, popcorn notepads, and a popcorn classroom calendar.
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Popcorn words are those unfamiliar words that pop up in reading. There they are, forcing themselves on your attention, so it’s natural to study them a bit, and easy to add them to your students’ vocabulary.
Here are some fun ways to work with popcorn words:
- When an unfamiliar word pops up, write it on a popcorn kernel cutout and pin it on the board. As the class fully learns the new words, move them from their random floating spots on the board to a bowl of popcorn for a visual record of how many new words you’ve learned!
- Give a fancy popcorn box cutout to each student, and let him write “My Popcorn Words” on the cover. Cut sheets of paper to fit, use the popcorn box for a cover, and each student can have her own booklet of words to learn. Depending on grade level, have students add illustrations, dictionary entries, and example sentences for each word.
- Give a popcorn sticker every time a student uses one of the popcorn words correctly.
- Celebrate the 100th new word (or the end of the unit, whichever comes first) with real popcorn and a movie version of one of the books you’ve read. Authentic popcorn bags add to the fun.
Fun stuff for your Hollywood theme classroom:
- Kids On Stage is an improv acting game that works on taking turns, following directions, and literacy skills.
- Hey Play! Puppet Theater is a wooden folding theater with spaces to write on.
- Pass The Popcorn is a movie trivia game.
We also like using ticket cutouts for this theme.
Here we’ve used laminated ticket cutouts for the front and back cover of a mini-book. We cut construction paper into strips (have students measure the page and calculate the best use of the paper, using whatever math skills they need to practice), folded them inside the covers, and stapled.
We’re having students keep a list of useful online research sites because we want them to learn the correct way to cite an electronic source in their papers. In another class, we could have them keep track of new words they learned, collect number sentences they discovered in their research, or make themselves a cheat sheet for new software they were learning. Any skills or information you expect students to learn during your Hollywood unit is fair game!
We also like cutouts like these for flashcards. Write the question or prompt on the front and the answer on the back. Punch holes and put a large book ring through them to keep them together. You could use this to learn movie vocabulary, but it also keeps the theme going while you work on multiplication tables or states and capitals.