Author: Deb Avery | Uploaded on 1 June 2022


Read what a teacher says about this activity:

This activity gives learners the opportunity to say what they would like their classroom to be like. If the learners can positively influence the classroom, they will be more motivated to learn.

Stage 1: Introduce

Write some or all of these words on the board.

Climate, positive, relationship, choice, respect, safe, feelings, responsibility, work, listening, rules, speaking, actions, support

Explain that every class has a ‘climate’. The classroom climate describes how we should work together when we learn.

Ask: ‘How do these words relate to classroom climate?’ You might discuss the example of ‘respect’ by asking: 

  • Who needs to show respect? How?
  • What / Who do we need to respect? 

Stage 2: Work in groups 

Divide the class into groups. Give each group something to write on – e.g. a large piece of paper or cardboard.

Write the word CLASSROOM on the board but write it vertically down the side of the board with the letters underneath each other. 

Say: ‘Copy this onto your poster. In your group, think of a positive word about classroom climate that starts with each letter. Think about what you would like the classroom to be like. How would the people act? Agree on one word for each letter and write it on the poster.”

Demonstrate with the first letter:

C = caring

Circulate, monitor and help groups where necessary.

To help learners get the most out of this activity:

  • Suggest learners use a dictionary to find suitable words. They can use a print dictionary or an online dictionary on a mobile phone.
  • If you have younger or lower-level learners, you can choose a shorter word. For example, learning, class or school. 

Stage 3: Discuss

Share the ideas for each letter. Write all the words next to the letter on the board. If more than one group says the same word, put a tick next to the word. This shows which are the most popular ideas.

Discuss how these words affect classroom climate. If there are any disagreements, ask groups to explain what they meant.

Stage 4: Extend

Ask: ‘Are there any other words that we would like to add to our classroom climate word list?’ 

Accept other ideas and add them to the board.

Stage 5:  Share

Display the classroom climate posters.  Learners do a gallery walk and discuss the other groups’ suggestions.

Ask: ‘Which groups are similar to you? Which are different? What have you learnt about classroom climate?’

This is a good activity to do at the beginning of the school year. You can use your learners’ ideas to draw up classroom guidelines for the year. Record these and refer to them throughout the year.


Circulate: Move around the classroom to check what learners are doing, and if they need any help.

Classroom climate: classroom environment

Gallery walk: Putting learners’ work (e.g. writing/pictures) on the classroom walls, and inviting them to look at what their friends have created. 

Monitor: The way a teacher watches to see how well an individual, group or class is doing a particular task.