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July 20, 2013

High School Classroom Themes

As the start of a new school year approaches, every teacher is thinking about how he or she will decorate the classroom.  I find myself thinking about it too, even though I don't even HAVE a classroom yet!!  It's constantly on my mind!  Since I interviewed for a high school position this week, I've been wondering how old is too old for a classroom theme.  I've come to the conclusion that as long as the theme speaks to the students (and teacher!), then there's no such thing as "too old".

So, this morning, I went searching the internet for ideas on how to decorate a high school classroom and came across a few important tips.

  • The point of having a theme in your classroom is to make your students feel more comfortable and at home.
  • Pick a theme that is appropriate for the age group.  Don't fill your room with decor that your students will find childish.
  • Pick two main colours and one or two accent colours to build your room.  I would personally stick to only one pattern too so that it's not too busy and overwhelming.
  • Decorate your own area with personal items.  Your students should feel as though they know you.  However, don't overdo it. The classroom doesn't need to be filled with pictures of your kids, but one or two photos on your desk are fine. Use items that are replaceable, just in case they get ruined by accident.
  • Put up posters that are relevant to the subject that you teach.  For example, if you teach Language Arts, movie posters based on books would be a great idea!  Make sure all your pictures are appropriate and won't cause major controversy.  
  • Teens are big on media.  Use that to your advantage.  Put up pictures of their favourite stars promoting reading!
  • EHow suggests putting up a "Hero Corner" in your classroom. I absolutely LOVE that idea!  Each week, feature someone your students can look up to! (This would be awesome at any grade level!)
  • Put up a weekly (or daily if you have a huge resource list) quote somewhere in your classroom!
  • I also love the idea of having a bulletin board for jokes, cartoons and more light-hearted things that will make your students smile on a daily basis!
  • Get your students involved!  A great first week activity would be to come up with a theme together and make all the decorations!  This would be the perfect time to get to know your students.
  • The subject you teach in that room can be a great source of inspiration.  For example, if you teach a foreign language, decorate your class with things from that country (i.e., flags, famous buildings, etc)
Here are a few pictures of themed high school rooms that I found on the internet!

I love how this room looks!  This would be super easy to make using bulletin board paper and by getting your artistic students to draw up the superheroes! I would've LOVED a room like that in high school!  The Word Bank would be perfect to post new vocabulary as you come across it, or to post a "New Word of the Day".

How cool is this idea?!  Take it one step further and assign a different novel for each "Wanted" sign.  Have students pick the sign that speaks the most to them and assign them that novel as a book study!  Perfect for not judging a book by it's cover!

Awesome way to set up desks in a high school class to encourage discussions!

Some themes that would be appropriate for high school:
  • Superheroes
  • The rainforest
  •  A specific movie that is currently popular, or a classic
  • Hollywood
  • Sports
  • A school mascot and team colours
  • etc...

I think any theme can work in a high school class as long as you keep it simple, and age appropriate.  The point is to make your students feel welcomed, at home and part of a group.  After all, isn't that what teenagers want?  


  1. Thanks for these great ideas. I love the WANTED READERS signs. I am going to try and incorporate that into my classroom this year. Heather

    1. I love the Wanted Readers posters too. I think I might just make some in the near future... ;)


  2. I love the circle group for discussions - we sat that way in English class in high school. When I taught middle school, I decorated my room with the school colors which were green and blue.

    1. I remember sitting like that in a few high school classes too. I love it! I think school colours are a great idea for any grade level! :)

  3. Love your classroom decor. Much better than those high school teachers that stick up one or two posters and they're done!

    1. Unfortunately, I can't take credit for those pictures. They are not of my own classroom, as I don't have a classroom yet! I'm still a substitute teacher. If you click on the pictures, it brings you to the Pinterest link and to the original picture.


  4. These are great ideas! I agree with you that the students in high school can't be too old to have a theme in their classroom. I've got some great quotes and pictures from The Simpsons that I put up in my classrooms related to Science, Math and Literacy. The kids really like seeing pop culture in their classroom. I am really jealous of the Film Studies & Communications room in my school. The room is covered floor to ceiling with movie posters, cut-outs and other really cool ads from the past 20 years or so. It provides such a creative environment!
    Great post :)
    Mrs. Brosseau's Binder

    1. I read online about a few teachers doing a Simpson's theme in high school. LOL I like that idea!! :D


  5. HI as a highschool student i fear that super heros maybe a bit young depending on how you play it. also, i had the 'hero corner' in grade 1 & 2 so young again but instead maybe have what a prson is really good at and say in that lesson if you need help go to them or you. (ask them first!) overall great idea!

  6. Loved your decor! I may not have the posters, but I stayed late to set my desks up like that & I LOVE it!


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