Island Jungle Theme

With the cold winter months just beginning, I decided to turn our classroom into a tropical paradise. My students and I spent our whole first week back from winter vacation decorating. They were like little leaf cutting machines! One huge advantage of teaching older students is that they make very capable helpers! Now that we are done, we can enjoy our island classroom for the rest of the year. 
For the ceiling, I hung a green hula-hoop up in the center. Then I strung alternating shades of green streamers. I used a fishing line hung across to help hold up the streamers in the middle so that they wouldn't hang too low.

I also added a few paper flower garlands I bought on Amazon to add some more color. I love decorating the ceiling! 
For the background around my whiteboards, I stapled up some tropical leaf bulletin board paper. I framed it with four inch strips of  bamboo printed paper. 
For my festive chair, I stapled a lei to the top of the chair and taped the skirt under the bottom. It stays in place pretty well. I've been using it now for a week and had no problems. I can't even feel that it's there when I sit. 
 I replaced the blue paper with green for the bookshelf background. The treasure chest is full this time. The students have to earn five coins in order to open the chest and select a treat. All of the candy is stuff that you can't buy here, so that makes it a special treat!

Leopard print border with fake fabric leaves and some real plants that have survived from last year's Hogwarts herbology display. Also my students requested a tea area. They are really into drinking green and fruit teas. They are allowed to have it as long as they keep the area clean and bring their own supplies like tea and honey to share. 
 My students joke that I'm the big tiki head and that they are the little ones. 
My "window," also bordered by the bamboo paper strips. 
Bamboo printed paper strikes again! 
 Our Mayan temple. It's hard to see in the picture but the black part on the sides is lined with red christmas lights that blink. Our temple looks like it belongs in Vegas.

The leaves look really impressive, but were not that hard to make. I made six different leaf stencils and gave my students tons of green and yellow paper. They traced the leaf design onto one page and then layered several sheets of paper when they cut. This way they could make 6-7 leaves each time. Multiply that by six workers and you have lots of leaves in no time! I made a few large basic leaf designs with green bulletin board paper and then they layered their leaves on top.
 The hallway outside our classroom.
I recycled the green kelp forest pieces and the blue water pieces from my last class theme for this waterfall. I also bought a long silver strand streamer doorway decoration. To make the waterfall, we used a huge piece of cardboard and cut out a rocky design. Then I layered the blue strips and the silver streamers to make the water. I added some extra blue pieces to the bottom for a pool. I twisted brown bulletin board paper to line the bottom and stapled a few fabric leaves to it. I surrounded the whole thing with the green vines. There is actually a door to a classroom behind the waterfall, but it's not used.
If you're wondering how I so perfectly spaced the decorations, they were pre-hung on strings and I just had to staple them to the wall.  
 Classroom entry
The blue lanterns and spirals are also recycled from the ocean theme.
Middle School Lockers


  1. Thank you for the inspiration. I am doing a rain forest theme in my school library and I have lots of ideas now from this post.

  2. How did you do the kelp/green ivy in the picture where you said that had an unused door behind it?

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