5 Ways to Use Quotations in the Classroom

Incorporating inspirational quotes into your classroom is a great way to get your students motivated, thinking critically, and discussing deeply. Inspirational quotes are also an effective way to directly teach character traits and life skills that need to be reinforced.

Although there are lots of ways to use quotations, in this post, I’d like to share with you five of my favorite ways to use them in the classroom.

1. Display them in groups as a motivational wall or individually as part of your classroom decor.

Quotes are a meaningful way to decorate your classroom space, cafeteria, or school hallways. Once you laminate your posters, they last for several years and are easy to replace each month or every quarter/trimester. Quotes add color and interest to classroom walls and one of the great things about posting inspirational quotes is that students look at them more often than we realize.

2. Use them as writing prompts.

I really love using the quotes as a ready to go writing prompt. To get students prepared to write, I like to either lead them in a class discussion, have them partner up, or meet in a small group to discuss the meaning of the quote.

I make sure to reinforce the idea that quotes may have a different meaning to each of us based on our life experiences and that there are lots of “right” interpretations for each quote. When I use quotes as writing prompts, I like to project them using a document camera/smartboard.

Then I either give the kids a handout that asks them questions about the quote’s meaning or I ask them to write a paragraph about the quote.

3. Use them as discussion starters.

Quotes provide you with a great topic for a classroom discussion. I love engaging my students in this way and find with a little prodding, we can delve more deeply into the quote’s meaning and how it might relate to our lives or the lives of others.

They also work well for class meetings. If you do morning meetings, you might find that sometimes it’s a struggle to find new and fresh ideas for each morning meeting. Having quotations on hand is an instant morning meeting activity!

They’re also a perfect “filler activity” for transition times. I like to put several in my sub tub as “extra time” activities that subs will be able to use when needed.


4. Use them for a Quote of the Week or Quote of the Day Activity.

Inspirational quotes are a perfect way to get your students focused on a positive idea for the week. You might be surprised at how often students will bring up the quote or tell you something that is related to the quote each week. Their enthusiasm for the quotes is contagious!

To manage quotes of the week, you can either print the quotes as a handout for each student or ask them to write about the quotes in their writing journals. It’s also fun to have students illustrate quotes and bind these into individual books (or a class book) to display at Open House and then take home at the end of the year.

5. Use them as inspiration for art projects.

I like to incorporate art whenever possible and inspirational quotes serve as a great anchor piece for an art project. One idea is to display the quote in the middle of a bulletin board and surround it with student-created art.

For example, if you discussed the All you need is love quote, you could have students create watercolored hearts or torn paper hearts, woven paper hearts, or chalk pastel hearts. If you discussed the quote Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you, student-created suns with blended watercolors or a collage of different yellows, oranges, and reds would make a beautiful bulletin board display.

There are lots of quotations you can pull from the internet, but if you’d like a set of quotation posters that are classroom-ready, I created a set of 50 different Inspirational Quote Posters in color and in black and white that you might enjoy:

50 Inspirational Quote Posters

Inspirational Quote Posters in Color and BW


Want to try a few quotes in your classroom? You can grab a FREEBIE sample set of 4 different Inspirational Quote Posters (also in color and black and white) in my TpT store:

FREEBIE Inspirational Quote Posters

Free Inspirational Posters 


Finally, I have also created a special set of 25 Inspirational Quotes Posters for Teachers (also in color and black and white). These are a great way to add instant inspiration to a teacher’s lounge, copier area, school office, or use them for Teacher Appreciation Week!


25 Different Inspirational Posters

Inspirational Quote Posters for Teachers


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