April is Autism Awareness month, and as Autism Speaks puts it, “Will you…create a kinder world this year?” One way we can increase acceptance and work towards the goal of creating a kinder world is by raising awareness in the classroom. That can be done through classroom discussions, activities, and, of course, some cool decor!

 

To help you prepare your room for April, we’ve highlighted these 7 autism awareness decor ideas that you can easily incorporate into your room.

 

Why Fit in When You Were Born to Stand Out Door

Two classroom doors decorated. One says "Why fit in when you were born to stand out" with students' hand prints on it and the other says "Rise up for Austism" with multi-colored puzzle pieces and balloons attached

 

There are actually 2 awesome doors in this picture and either one would be amazing. You could even do one on the inside and the other on the outside of your classroom door. Why Fit in When You Were Born to Stand Out door is super easy. All you need is yellow butcher paper; cut out letters and then have your students add on their painted handprints and a few puzzle pieces.

 

On the Rise Up for Autism door, you would only need blue butcher paper, autism awareness balloons, the letters, and the puzzle piece border: very simple but also very effective.

 

With All of Our Differences Door

A classroom door decorated with multi-colored puzzle pieces and says "With all of our differences we make the perfect puzzle". Sign next to door says Ms. Marshall, Fourth Grade, 228

This door is so fun! With All of Our Differences We Make the Perfect Puzzle door is literally just construction paper puzzle pieces and the words placed on top. You could use butcher paper to make larger puzzle pieces or construction paper for smaller ones. Add your students’ names to personalize it and show that together you really do all fit together into the perfect puzzle.

Bulletin Board Idea

A bulletin board that says "We are all part of the puzzle". The background is blue. The boarder is puzzle pieces. In the center is puzzle of a heart made into 4 pieces that are red, yellow, blue and green

 

This tissue paper heart bulletin board is so classic. We Are All Part of the Puzzle can be made using blue butcher paper. Simply cover the bulletin board and then add your puzzle piece border (you will need this for almost every idea in this post). Then draw out where your heart will go and section off for the different colored tissue paper. Simply glue on your crumpled tissue paper into the section you outlined, add the words and a few puzzle pieces. You could also use the extra space to include ideas for how students can be more accepting or share praises when your students do something kind for someone else.

I Am Different Not Less Bulletin Board

A bulletin board that says "I am different, not less". It has a yellow background. The boarder is multi-colored puzzle pieces. In the center is the shadow of a woman and child both touching a red heart

I am Different Not Less bulletin board is a little bit more involved than our other ideas. You may need the assistance of the art teacher or an artistic student to get the woman and student/puzzle person cut out. You can make the smaller person on the board using puzzle pieces, the woman out of black butcher paper and then add on puzzle pieces around the outside to create a border.

April is Autism Awareness Month Board

A bulletin board that says "April is autism awareness month and 4 true or false statements. 1. You can take medicine to cure autism. 2. Sometimes people with autism have a hard time making eye contact. 3. People with autism have many strengths and abilities. 4. People with autism don't like playing games or having fun. The background of the bulletin board is blue and there are multi-colored puzzle pieces as decoration.

While this bulletin board is more educational than a decoration, it is still fun to look at. It’s a great way to put up kindness topics, autism awareness facts, and ideas for how your students can make people feel accepted, even when they are different.

Growing Awareness Door

A classroom door decorated as a tree. The leaves were made by tracing students' hands on construction paper and cutting them out. Near the trunk of the tree it says "Growing Awareness"

This is exactly what autism awareness month is all about. Growing Awareness is such a creative door and full of fun color. To design this door, cover the door in a dark blue butcher paper, and then add on the brown butcher paper tree. Next, cut out the different colored handprints and attach to the door. Lastly, you will want to add on the words and the handprint heart. This really adds a nice touch and solidifies the message of kindness and acceptance.

Like a Box of Crayons Door

A classroom door that says "Like a box of crayons, each 1 of us is unique". There is an image of a box of crayons. The crayons were decorated by the students. There are cut outs of clouds at the top of the door.

Like a Box of Crayons Each 1 of Us is Unique is a door decoration idea that you can have your students help create. You can add the blue butcher paper, and then create the cloud saying and attach. Have your students create their own crayons to attach to your yellow butcher paper crayon box. Then add blue crayon rain drops and the words. This door is very unique and represents each student by allowing them to create their own symbolic crayon.

 

Autism awareness isn’t just a day, but a full month this year. If you can, take the time to include kindness and acceptance into your curriculum. According to Autism Speaks and the CDC, 1 in 59 children is on the spectrum. Since there are so many students impacted, educating the rest of your class on how to be a good friend and peer is vital.

 

In our series, Teachers of NJ, we had the privilege of interviewing a parent and autism educator and the impact she has had on the lives of her student and his family. You can read that awesome story here.

 

  • Jenna Garvin

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