One of my favorite things about being a teacher is when students are engaged, talking, creating, and enjoying the moments of the day. I've always been a doodler and enjoyed making little drawings or sketches in my notebooks when I was in school (usually when I probably should have been listening). This Revolutionary War caricature activity is one where even my most reluctant students would take part in. Why? Because you don't have to be a skilled artist because all you have to do is trace the body, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, hat, etc... I also think they participate because it's fun to see the caricature start to appear!
Sometimes I'll start the first day of school having students create a caricature that will be displayed in the hallway. That way at each student I teach will have something that is displayed, which makes it so they start out the year with something they've created being part of the school they go to. Might seem silly, but when there's 150 caricatures up on the wall students want to show their friends which one they made. You'll be guaranteed to hear students giving compliments to one another, which is the trick to get them talking to one another - especially to those who they normally don't interact with.
Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make one:
I've also made caricature packets to make Civil War Caricatures and one that honors the branches of the United States military. I've used the latter as an option for students when Veterans Day or Memorial Day was approaching. Some of my students have asked if they could make one for a family member who is currently serving.
I've never had another bulletin board that allowed me to make connections with students when they're walking into class more than this one. This is the first thing students see on the very first day of school and it never fails that I'll have a number of students stop on their way in and say something like, "Wait...what's this for?" (pointing to the large ruler taped on the wall). They'll measure themselves and then stop and look at who is on the board that is closest to their height. Before I even introduce myself to them or their class I'll have a little conversations about if they ever heard of any of the people on the board, how tall they would like to be when they're done growing, or if they could imagine being as tall as Robert Pershing Wadlow who was 8' 11"! Just like that I've connected with 10 or so students before they've even set foot in my classroom.
This fun bulletin board has been my go-to bulletin board for students on the first day of school for quite a few years. There are even blank cards that are editable so you could put your own picture and height on one, the picture and height of your principal, fellow teachers, or anyone else that you think your students would enjoy seeing.
Students love seeing how tall Robert Wadlow Pershing was when they stand at the ruler and look up!
The ruler goes up to 9' and is accurate, but you'll have to do some measuring on your own as you put it up to make sure you're on the money.
Here's how I put this history bulletin board together.
You can find this bulletin board in my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking HERE