To cultivate an interest in writing is equally as important as presenting the mechanics of language to students. After covering the basics of English grammar, you can introduce students to good writers and encourage them to find others at the library. To develop an intuition for writing, students must read. You can post a list of writers on a bulletin board as a beginning of a group reading and writing bulletin board. Start with excerpts from classic writers like Dickens and Hardy.
A bulletin board with excerpts from Dickens will shine. Use a nice red and green theme for this board. Never to be missed is "A Christmas Carol,“ though it's seasonal. A sample from "A Tale of Two Cities" is nice to include: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...” Some biographical information will also be helpful, such as that when Dickens was a child, his father was sent to debtor's prison, and he later drew on this experience when writing about social injustice.
Quotes from his indispensable novels, "The Return of the Native" and "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" are priceless. Hardy's fabled reputation as a stylist was built on his vivid descriptions of Egdon Heath. Place the titles of his books around the board. You might also include biographical notes on Hardy's life, such as that he was born in 1840 and became a famous novelist, but he abandoned novel writing after publication of the controversial "Jude the Obscure" in 1896.
For a bulletin board about nonfiction, start by posting an explanation of the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction and include a piece written by Tracy Kidder, the 1982 winner. Place the piece in the center of the board and surround it with excerpts from authors such as Barbara Tuchman, Henry James, George Orwell, Andrew Napolitano, and George Orwell. Orwell, of course, was both a novelist and journalist. Give the board style with a variety of colors.
Fiction excerpts from Phillip Roth, Margaret Atwood, Michael Crichton, Ayn Rand, and Virginia Woolf work nicely on bulletin boards. Atwood is a must for English students. Some of Roth’s books deal with the issues of modern times, as does the philosophical work of Rand. Woolf’s “The Waves” is full of the masterful use of a familiar literary device. For organization, place an excerpt from "The Waves" alongside a seaside picture at the top of the board, and place quotes from the other writers randomly around the rest of it. Use a dark blue background.
- isolated note on board image by Chad McDermott from Fotolia.com