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Lesson Plan

Creating Class Rules: A Beginning to Creating Community

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Creating Class Rules: A Beginning to Creating Community

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Renee Goularte

Renee Goularte

Magalia, California


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



This simple shared-writing activity can establish a foundation for ongoing community-building in the classroom. It engages students in thinking about the process of learning and the behavioral and community needs which support a productive classroom environment. At the beginning of the school year, students are led through a discussion designed to establish goals and needs for the classroom. Students first respond to the prompt: "Why are we here?" After listing and discussing their ideas, they respond to the prompt: "What do we need?" Students refer back to their first list of reasons in order to what they need to meet those goals. This activity encourages students to become contributing, consensus-building members of their classrooms.

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Books about Friends, Relationships, Community: Use books from this booklist to reinforce the idea of community and friendship in the classroom.

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In his article "Building Community through Poetry: A Role for Imagination in the Classroom", Chapman Hood Frazier states: "good teaching involves creating an environment that supports students and allows them to explore, discover, and question their assumptions about the class, the content, the world, and their perceptions in a situation of mutual support." Giving students the opportunity to provide input on classroom goals and expectations helps them become productive participants in community building and may help increase their intellectual as well as social development. In Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community, Alfie Kohn contrasts the idea of controlling students' behavior with an approach where students work together to create caring classroom communities. The underlying premise is that complying with someone else's expectations for how to act fails to help students develop socially or morally.

Further Reading

Frazier, Chapman Hood. "Building Community through Poetry: A Role for Imagination in the Classroom." English Journal 92.5 (May 2003): 65-70.

Read more about this resource


Goularte, Renee. May 2000. "Social Reality in the Classroom: An Alternate Strategy for Developing Class Rules." November 2009. Web.


Kohn, Alfie. 1996. Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.

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