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Flags Around the Classroom

Found In: artistic design & composition, building trust & community, classroom setup, crafts & cooking, kinesthetic learning, student presentations

Every teacher wants their classroom to have a welcoming atmosphere. Part of creating that ambiance is to have decorations that connect to the curriculum, interest the students, and—silly as it seems—actually stay on the walls with minimal use of double-sided tape!

My solution is Flags Around the Classroom.

The concrete blocks that form my classroom walls are rectangular shaped, just like a flag. I created a list of every nation in the world and every US state. For extra credit students can sign up to paint a flag on a concrete block (check with your principal for permission prior to beginning this project). On designated “flag painting days” after school, students are able to paint the flag of their choice.

After their flag is completed, students give a brief speech about the flag they chose to paint. My students loved this idea so much so that in one school year over 80 flags were painted!

Aside from a kinesthetic activity and to practice public speaking, students gain a sense of pride and personal ownership in my physical classroom. Students show their friends and former students, and parents even ask to see which one their child has painted. As a teacher, the time spent with the student painters enables me to learn unique facts about them, such as: where they have vacationed, where their relatives live, and places they hope to someday visit. I refer to the flags in my lessons, incorporate them as bonus questions on quizzes, and have had contests with students on who could correctly identify the most flags.

Flags Around the Classroom is certainly more than just decorating classroom walls.


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