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Creating Classroom Rules in Pre-Kindergarten: A Social Studies Lesson

Do you remember going to school on the first day of school and sitting through several lectures about classroom rules? A more meaningful approach to creating classroom rules is to actually engage students in the process of developing rules. Here is a pre-kindergarten social studies lesson that centers on classroom rules and jobs.

5.1 PK.A State rules and their consequences. 5.3 PK.F Identify appropriate behaviors for responsible classroom citizens.

Kick off this lesson by providing students with classroom scenarios in which a rule would be helpful. Role play is incredibly powerful in the pre-kindergarten classroom because it is active, practical, and memorable.

  • Situation #1 - Timmy's teacher is talking. What should Timmy be doing?

  • Situation #2- Rose wants to play basketball, but Rob will not let her. How does Rose feel? What rule would be helpful in this situation?

  • Situation #3- Kyle made a mess in the kitchen, but now he wants to play outside. What should he do before he goes outside? What rule would be helpful in this situation?

  • Situation #4- Maria accidentally broke Matt's toy. What should she do?

  • Situation #5- Lydia accidentally knocked Joseph over. What should she do?

  • Situation #6- Ben is getting ready to go to school. The teacher sent him home with some very important papers. What should he bring with him to school?

Use the conversations that surround these scenarios to encourage students to develop their own rules based off of Matthew 7:12 "So in everything, do onto others as you would have them do onto you!" The teacher will record all of the students suggestions and then sort them into three categories below: Follow the Golden Rule, Listen, and Be Prepared. In this way, students are able to construct their own rules and therefore will be able to see the importance of following their own rules.

Students will have the opportunity to earn green (Follow the Golden Rule), orange (Listen), and purple (Be Prepared) stars based on their ability to follow each of these rules. This is a great opportunity to practice the rules in the classroom center and provide positive reinforcement!

Students will then be introduced to Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." Students will have the opportunity to contribute to the classroom community by taking on classroom jobs! Once again, these jobs will be developed through exploring role play scenarios that demonstrate the need for particular jobs.

  • Situation #1 - Everyone needs a book to read in class today. That is a big stack of books for the teacher to pass out! (classroom librarian, material passer)

  • Situation #2- The class did an exciting science experiment today! But now the table and floor are covered in containers and materials! (classroom janitor, sweeper)

  • Situation #3- The class created a beautiful art project! We want to take a picture to remember it. (class photographer)

  • Situation #4- It is time to go outside! But we need to walk safely in a line. (line leader, door holder and closer)

  • Situation #5- The class has a question about a center activity but the teacher is helping another student. (teacher's assistant, center leader, peer helper)

  • Situation #6- We need to use the board, but it is covered in writing from our science lesson! (board eraser/cleaner)

Students love getting involved in the classroom. Not only does this development lesson teach classroom citizenship and responsibility, but it also encourages students to develop the need for these rules and jobs on their own!

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