This is Part 3 of a four-part series about creating exciting exhibitions of student PBL work that excite parents, engage students, and make YOUR job of setting up an open house much more interesting! Missed earlier installments? Catch up easily:

Part 1 Understanding Exhibition

Part 2 Plan For Your Exhibition


Tips for Curating Student Work at an Exhibition

When you are ready to make the shift from Open House to Exhibition, you have to think of your school as a museum. I absolutely love this video-it is a must watch! It will inspire you and give you a ton of ideas for how to not only curate student work but incredible project ideas, as well. 


I often work with teachers who are new to PBL, and they confess that their students don’t produce quality work that they are willing to showcase. That’s OK! PBL is a process. Creating a culture of critique takes time and intentional work. Below are some resources I highly recommend to help you establish AND SCAFFOLD this expectation for excellence in your classroom.


Plan to commit time during your next project to supporting students through the drafting and revision phase. Typically when I design a project with teachers we make the final benchmark a revised draft. During this benchmark phase students will participate in a structured critique, conduct self and peer revisions.


How to Create a Beautiful Class Exhibition

These simple tips will save you!

  • Analyze models before students start working. I like to use Visible or Artful Thinking Routines  to collectively define “quality” in student work. See below for links.
  • Have an artist style to frame/focus student work and serve as a model. Below are some popular ones. This will help with “repetition” mentioned in my favorite video linked above!
  • Have all students work from the same, simple color palette
  • Teach students about the color wheel and what colors work well together


Teacher Hacks for Displaying Work at a Student Exhibition

  • adhesive spray and black cardstock is your friend!
  • frames
  • wood palettes and pvc pipes
  • Large printer use
  • fishline, eye hooks and giant binder clips
  • commit to canvas or blueprint paper -material matters!
  • use burlap for backdrops

Have you created an exhibition you’re proud of? Share it with the CraftEd community! Post it and tag me, along with #shareyourlearning!



An Ethic of Excellence by Ron Berger will help you get started on your journey to beautiful work! Then watch this video and have your students watch it too! What do you notice happens to the quality of work as it is revised with specific feedback?! Isn’t it beautiful!?  To help you with this process check out these resources:

Thinking frames to collectively define “quality” in student work:

Artist styles:

Download the toolkit here for a curation planning sheet