Taylor Swift or a Tortured Poet?

Taylor Swift Tortured Poets

Is it lyrics from a Taylor Swift song or lines by a tortured poet? 

Your students will love trying to figure out the answers on my latest interactive activities and bulletin board! It shows students that poetry comes in a variety of packages, such as their favorite song lyrics. It is a great way for them to buy into your poetry unit. 

You can use this resource in a variety of ways, such as:

Taylor Swift Tortured Poets quiz handout

1. Student Handout: Distribute the student handouts right away and have them guess the answers. They can work in groups, partners, or individually. Let them know it's NOT for a grade, but just for fun! The handout has 44 questions for students. Give them 10 (or more) minutes to guess the answers. After they have all had enough time to guess, either show the presentation (#2) or go over the answers orally (answer sheet included; however, the presentation identifies which song and the name of the poet & poem for each line).

Taylor Swift Tortured Poets presentation

2. Presentation: After (or while) students have filled out the handout, show the presentation. It includes 134 slides with the lines and the answers on separate slides. I offer it in PPT and PDF formats (you may transfer the PPT to Google Slides if you prefer that format). They can follow along with their handouts and you can discuss whether they were surprised by the answers or not. You can take it a step further and have them look up the poems afterward. All of the poems are readily available and in the public domain on Project Gutenberg or popular sites like Poets.org. 

Taylor Swift Tortured Poets Bulletin Board
This display only uses 26 of the 44 display cards.

3. Bulletin Board: You can display the bulletin board as a stand-alone activity or in combination with the previous two activities. The bulletin board includes 44 display cards (2 per piece of paper that you will cut in half and fold). Students love to keep looking at the lyrics and lines of poetry even after they've seen the answers. You can also display them in the hallway for students from other classes. It is a great way to promote poetry while having some fun! @MHS_MediaCenter on Instagram shared photos of how they created a display in their library. It was a huge hit!

Taylor Swift Tortured Poets display

Taylor Swift Tortured Poets display

No matter how you use this resource, your students are sure to be engaged! ALL of the lyrics in this bundle are from Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department Anthology double album.

I never use the same poetry quote or lyric quote twice, so even if you have my other packs, they will all be original! I offer numerous additional poetry/musician packs in my bundle, found here:

Poetry Bulletin Board Bundle

It will always be 20% off OR MORE! I will continue to add new titles to it each year. Drop me a message on my TPT page, on Instagram, or on Facebook with any suggestions for new packs!

Thanks for reading!


Classroom Decor: Bulletin Boards

Bulletin boards for the secondary classroom

One way to brighten up your classroom and make it appealing for students is through bulletin boards or white-board displays. We secondary teachers often slack in this area--myself included. For several years I had the same exact board up. When I finally took it down I couldn't believe how faded and dingy the backing was. When I started to give my boards more attention, I could tell students appreciated the effort and I took more pride in what I accomplished. 

Here are some examples that I've used throughout the years that range from super-duper easy to relatively or moderately easy. ;)

BOOK SELFIES bulletin board

Level: Easy

Materials Needed: Download my FREE Book Selfies activity, paper, & printer.

Why I love this display: I can keep the book selfies up year after year and students never tire of looking at them (especially if they have older siblings!). It's also a great way to show that the act of reading for pleasure is universal and isn't just for so-called nerds. And any time you can feature students (and teachers) interacting with books, it's good.

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom

"SUMMER READS" bulletin board

Level: Moderately easy depending on your cutting skills. ;)

Materials needed: Colored paper and bulletin board background (I just kept my black background paper up, but ideally blue would have been a much easier color!), images of book titles, images of sunglasses, toothpicks (for the beach umbrellas), scissors, and post-it notes. 

Why I love this display: I liked to give my students book recommendations and show them that reading is a life-long activity. I happened to read a lot of books that summer (this isn't a normal amount for me--I usually read 5-7 books max). But what I love is that I showed them that it's also great to RE-READ your favorite books.

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com
I used the toothpicks and Post-It notes to create little mini umbrellas. I also used the Post-Its to write mini reviews or recommendations for the books. 
Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com
I let my students know it's OK to be disappointed in a book. 
Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com

CURRENTLY... classroom display

Level: Super-duper easy (in fact, a bulletin board is not even required)

Materials needed: Download my FREE "Currently..." activity, paper, printer, tape, and students to fill them out.

Why I love this display: Besides it being super easy, it's a GREAT way to get to know your students at the beginning of the year, it's perfect for introverts who don't want to share aloud, students learn things they didn't know about their fellow classmates, and it's another great way to share book recommendations!

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com
These "Currently" posts have prompts asking students what they are currently: reading planning, wanting, needing, wishing, thinking, and loving. The template also includes a blank page where you can come up with your own prompts for your students.

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com

(THIS or THAT) interactive bulletin boards

Level: Super easy

Materials needed: Check out the bundle of all of them to pick & choose or grab them all; paper, & printer.

Why I love this display: These bulletin boards allow students to interact with them, lifting the flaps to see if they were right in guessing the answer. They are always amazed that the lines from poems aren't song lyrics. It makes them want to look up those poems and read more. I have an activity in the bundle that allows students to create their own and that forces them to read A LOT of poems looking for quotes. They have fun with it and don't even realize all the reading and learning that is taking place. 
Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com

MEMES! bulletin board or classroom display

Level: Super easy

Materials needed: You can get my pre-made memes (with editable options so you can customize them) or create your own using an online meme generator; printer & paper.

Why I love this display: Students love memes and humor is always fun to bring into the classroom. The memes get the point across to students in ways that simply listing your rules don't. Students will often ignore rules written in a poster, but they definitely pay attention to memes!

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com

BANNED BOOKS interactive bulletin board

Level: Relatively easy

Materials needed: You can download my pre-made banned books display that includes a caution-tape border or create your own; paper & printer.

Why I love this display: Students are blown away by the reasons some books have been challenged and/or banned. It actually makes them want to READ more! Anything that encourages reading is a win in my book.

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com


Level: Super-duper easy

Materials needed: Digital camera (or phone with camera), printer, & paper.  

Why I love this display: It's so easy and the students love to see who is in each section/class. It's also great to update it at semester AND the end of the year to see how much they have changed (plus, my sections usually get mixed up at semester, so it's nice to show the new groups). I love to give the students a copy of the pictures when they graduate. We take some silly group pictures along with a regular one and they love looking back at them.

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com

What are your favorite classroom displays or bulletin boards? 
Comment below!

Bulletin board ideas for the secondary classroom  www.traceeorman.com

Fun Poetry Bulletin Board Ideas

Students will love these interactive poetry-inspired bulletin boards!

Do your students have a negative attitude about poetry? Do you wish you could change that?
One way to combat this is by showing students that poetry is cool (or whatever the latest term is for being awesome). 

My interactive bulletin board displays–which also come with presentations and a fun quiz handout–show students that the music they may listen to is similar to classic poetry. Plus, they are sure to pique your students' interest and challenge them. I offer these packs on TpT; click on the images or links below to learn more about each in my store.

Poetry Bulletin Board www.traceeorman.com

Your students will be surprised by how much lyrics from a Green Day song and lines from a Walt Whitman poem have in common. Whitman is the father of free verse and lover of retrospect and while Green Day loves a rhyme, they also go deep and reflective. Here are a few samples:
Engage students with interactive poetry bulletin boards  - www.traceeorman.com

So, how did you do? 

This pack contains 45 quote cards, 134-slide presentation, student quiz (45 questions--same as the quote cards), and teacher answer key. It also includes a brief bio of both Green Day and Walt Whitman to give your students some background information on both.

Engage students with interactive poetry bulletin boards  - www.traceeorman.com

Again, the similarities are very surprising! Dickinson's lines are lyrical and Queen's are creative and sometimes a little out there. A perfect pairing. See for yourself:
Engage students with interactive poetry bulletin boards  - www.traceeorman.com

What did you think about those?

Like my other packs, this pack contains the same presentation, quiz, answer key, and 40 bulletin board cards. 

Engage students with interactive poetry bulletin boards  - www.traceeorman.com

Tupac made it known that he loved reading (and acting in) William Shakespeare plays. Some of his lines in his rap music are taken straight from the Bard:
Engage students with interactive poetry bulletin boards  - www.traceeorman.com

It's guaranteed to bring a new appreciation for both Shakespeare AND rap music! 

This pack includes 40 bulletin board quote cards, student quiz, teacher key, and a 122-slide presentation. Use whichever you like to suit your students. It's a fun way to introduce Shakespeare or to bring awareness any time during the school year!

What other pairings would you like to see? Drop me a suggestion in the comments and if I create it, I'll send it to you free!

Poetry bulletin board ideas from www.traceeorman.com

This free download features short poems that are easy to print, cut, and have available for students to take. I provide a fun pocket display in which you can stick the poems. I like to keep this up all year long so students always have poetry available.

You can find additional ideas at poets.org for Poetry Month or any time of the year. Also, check out my poetry Pinterest boards:




I hope these help your students connect more with poetry and have a great attitude about it. Thanks for reading! -Tracee

Interactive Poetry Bulletin Boards www.traceeorman.com

Holiday Door Decorating

'Tis the season for holiday door decorating and the staff at Erie High School once again produced some amazing doors! The theme this year was either holiday books or holiday movies/TV shows. Can you guess all the themes? The answers are below the picture (or at the end of the series of pictures).

Train tracks in hallway

North Pole sign

Railroad crossing sign

Polar Express sign in hallway

That was my husband's door and the theme was pretty evident (The Polar Express). And, yes, he did let me help and he did actually do quite a bit of the work. 😉 

A Christmas Story theme from our choir & driver's ed teachers. 🎅

Die Hard from one of our math teachers. Thankfully, they cut short one of the quotes. 😆

Elf on a Shelf (female & male elves) by one of our English and one of our social studies teachers. 

Frosty the Snowman by one of our English teachers. 

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation by the guidance office. That cat! 😂🙀🎄


Elf by one of our science teachers. This movie is the best and she captured it perfectly! The display is filled with the best quotes from the movie, too.

Gremlins by one of our English teachers. Check out Gizmo in the microwave. 😳😂 
The artistic skills are amazing here! 

The Grinch by one of our math teachers. I really love that the ornaments were made by the students in her class! 

Miracle on 34th Street by the P.E. department.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (in this case, "Avoid the Nightmare Before Finals") from our office staff and principal. Is this perfect, or what!? I love their advice to students!


A Christmas Carol from our librarian.

Festivus (from Seinfeld) by our Spanish teacher. This one made me laugh. I love Festivus! 😂

Snowmen at Work by our special ed. department. The details on the snowmen are amazing! ⛄

Home Alone from our RtI teacher. 😱

The Year Without Santa Claus from the family and consumer science teacher (who has two doors into her room). They also decorated the hallway with these cute figures! 👏

*     *     *

Aren't these doors terrific? I love this tradition and am so thankful that I can still participate, albeit in a roundabout way (thanks to my husband!).

Does your school have a door decorating contest or do you decorate for the holidays? Comment and share below!

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