Props For Pinterest

This summer, I met with two amazing Grade 5 teachers in our Board, Michelle Fawcett and Adele Stanfield, to do some planning for the new year. With the change in our Social Studies Curriculum Document to a new inquiry model, we had lots of conversations about inquiry in the classroom. Adele, in particular, had explored inquiry a lot already, and she spoke about how she uses Pinterest to help her students during the research stage.

When I read, Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles In Action, the authors emphasized the importance of providing multiple resources for students to use during inquiry opportunities. They looked at ways that we can do our own research of reliable websites and have these available to students in addition to print material. What a great idea! Usually I just have students find their own websites, and this works sometimes, but they do not always find the best information or the most reliable sources. Why not help them out? They can then use these links as a starting point for research, and as we teach them more about search terms and websites, they can find their own too.

The Pinterest Board Address is on the yellow sheet of paper, and the students are watching one of the videos included on the board.

How was I going to organize all of these websites though? This is where Pinterest became so helpful. I could give the students the link to the Pinterest boards, and then they could choose based on the topics and descriptions. I just wrote out the board names on sheets of paper, showed the students how to type them into the web browser, and then they were ready to go. Adele spoke about how she had students add additional websites to the Pinterest boards based on their own research. What a great extension!

As someone that doesn’t used Pinterest personally, I’ve been amazed at the incredible benefits for classroom use.

  • All students can use it regardless of age. I currently teach Media Literacy and Health to the Grades 3 and 4 students. We’re using inquiry for both of these subjects. I’ve set-up Pinterest boards for both, and students are typing in the website address and using the resources to find out answers to their own questions.
  • I can include all types of media. Some students may struggle with reading the material, but they are still able to understand it. With Pinterest, I can include links to videos and podcasts in addition to text (at all reading levels) so that every student can access what he/she needs.
  • It’s very visual. Pinterest is based on “pinning” images. I can select the images that I want pinned. Students can then find the resources that they need just by looking at the images. Those that have difficulty reading my descriptions do not need to rely on them for research purposes. This builds success for all.
  • Pinterest works incredibly well for students with autism. Many students with autism are very visual learners, so having these visual links helps them find the resources that they need. I can include the Pinterest link in the Social Story, and students can go online, type in the address, go to the correct spot, and answer the given questions or do the given activity. This works well for all students, but has certainly helped increase independence for those with autism.
  • Pinterest helps restrict material. Sometimes students do not choose the best resources or have difficulty avoiding a website or video that they know they should not be using, but I can help with this with the use of my boards. Now students know that they need to go to a given Pinterest board, but they’ll still have choice of resources within these boards. This is a more narrow choice, but one that I can expand on, as students start adding their own content.

How do you use Pinterest in the classroom? What benefits or drawbacks do you see? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


4 thoughts on “Props For Pinterest

  1. We used it on the first day of school so students could learn about each other. We have also used it as a hook/understanding for science (biodiversity), and the students are currently using it for their science/media projects. I created a classroom Pinterest account and instead of pinboard names such as “classroom” or “holidays”, the boards are the students names. Therefore they all have their own name-board they pin ideas to.

    • That’s a great idea, Jen! What a wonderful way to personalize the boards. Do they have the sign-in information then or do you do this? I’m always interested in getting more ideas. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing!

      • The students have the log-in info. The user name is the class name and they have the password. Then each pinboard is a name of a student, and they can see each other’s boards. It works great!

        • Thanks for explaining, Jen! I always worry a bit when everyone accesses an account with the same username and password information, but maybe this isn’t an issue. I’m glad to hear it works so well.


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