Grades K-2
Grades 3-5
Grades 6-8

Our Class Norms

Set classroom guidelines to create a compassionate, safe, and welcoming space for everyone.

Activity Partner
Total time estimate:
30-60 minutes
Activity Objectives
  • Students will work together to create classroom guidelines around actions, qualities, and values which cultivate a safe and kind environment
  • Students will also consider how they can manage their emotions, behavior, and opinions during disagreements to ensure that everyone feels respected and heard

This activity supports the development of the following social-emotional skills: self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision-making, and self-management.


Engage students in a group brainstorm by asking the following questions:

  • Imagine a classroom where everyone feels respected and cared for. What does this space look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like? 
  • How do we want to treat each other in our class? How can we make sure that we are creating a compassionate and safe place for everyone? 
  • What actions, qualities, and values do we want to encourage? 
  • What should we do if we disagree with another person? What should we do if we feel hurt by someone's actions or words, or if we hurt them? 
  • What will our classroom look like if we follow these guidelines?

As a class, agree on a final list of classroom guidelines based on your discussion. Then, ask students to work together to create a poster listing your guidelines. Display the poster in your class, and refer back to it throughout the year, such as during disagreements, challenging times, and morning circles.

Did you finish this activity? We'd love your input.