Character Education Objective: 
Students and teachers will use a Gallery Walk activity to define what respectful behavior looks like in the classroom, in the hallways, and in the cafeteria. 

Core Alignment:


  • Essential Concept and/or Skill: Communicate and work appropriately with others to complete tasks.
  • Essential Concept and/or Skill: Learn leadership skills and demonstrate integrity, ethical behavior, and social responsibility.


  • Essential Concept and/or Skill: Communicate and work productively with others emphasizing collaboration and cultural awareness to produce quality work.
  • Essential Concept and/or Skill: Practice leadership skills, and demonstrate integrity, ethical behavior, and social responsibility in all activities.


Defining respect can be challenging because we all assume we know what is respectful. The reality is that respect can look very different in different settings. The easiest way to clear up confusion from an assumption is to define it. Show the video below to demonstrate why we need to define our expectations of respect based on our setting.

 In this activity students will define respectful behavior in the classroom, hallways and cafeteria by giving examples of what it does and does not look like. 

Gallery Walk Activity

  1. Post four large pieces of paper in the room. On two of them title it “In the Hallway” and draw a line down the middle. On the remaining two title it “In the Cafeteria” and also draw a line down it. 
  2. Create one large piece of paper with the title “In the Classroom” and draw a line down the middle. Bring this paper to your large group space. 
  3. Challenge the students to think as a large group about respectful behavior in the classroom. On the left side will be examples of what it looks like and on the right will be what does it not look like. It is important they come up with examples of both.
  4. Once you feel like they have a good understanding of what respectful behavior in the classroom looks like then split the class into four equal groups.
  5. Have each group go to one of the large pieces of paper in the room. Ask them to draw or write examples of what respect looks and does not look like in each of these settings. Give them some time and then have them switch with a group that has the other location. If this task is beyond you children’s developmental level, then continue to work as a large group to define respectful behavior in each of these settings.
  6. Bring the lists together and discuss if there are any additional things they would like to add.
  7. The students have now created expectations around respectful behavior. They have defined those in different settings and now ask for their commitment to demonstrate those behaviors. Also include that accountability includes self and others.
  8. Ask the students to sign the list of expected respectful behaviors. 

Parent Connection:

Encourage parents to create a similar list of what respect does and does not look like in the house. It is important that the list is not created just for children in the household.  Whatever is on the list applies to everyone, kid and parent alike.

Ask everyone in the house to sign the list once it is agreed to.

Learn more about character education.

What Respect Looks Like (Grades K-5)
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