Creating Community Norms

This is a unit from the Relationships Initiative Curriculum. See the full resource collection on the curriculum’s homepage.

The activities in this section help students work together to develop norms for how everyone will be expected to behave and interact in order to create safe and inclusive classrooms and schools. All educators know the importance of norms for creating safe classrooms. When students have a say in those norms it allows them to take ownership of their behavior and hold themselves and others accountable. The activities in this section require moderate or low vulnerability and should be done before students are asked to share deeply about their lives so that such sharing is as safe as possible.

Supplemental Videos

Use these playlists to facilitate introductory conversations about communities, community norms, agreements, and responsibilities. As you view the videos with your students, use any of the following questions to guide reflection, journaling, and discussion: 

  • What is a community? 
  • What communities exist in and around our school? 
  • What makes communities “work”? 
  • How do people connect with one another? 
  • How do people communicate within communities? 
  • How do we agree on what is “good” and “right” within our communities? 
  • What can we learn about communities from these stories? 
  • What lessons in these stories can help as we build community in our classroom? 

Browse videos below by age group. Do you have a video or activity that might help other teachers create community norms? Share it using our submission form.

Lessons from this Unit

You can also download the full Relationships Initiative curriculum as a PDF.