May 12, 2021
by Character Counts

Six Pillars of Character Gallery Walk

The Six Pillars of Character are universal values that when taught, enforced, reinforced, and modeled become the foundation of your classroom and school culture. However, in order for students to understand how to demonstrate the Six Pillars in their own lives, we have to turn the Six Pillar values into Six Pillar behaviors.

  1. Post six large pieces of paper around your classroom. On each sheet of paper write one of the Six Pillars of Character and draw a vertical line down the middle of the paper.
  2. Divide students into six groups and assign each group to one sheet of paper.
  3. Tell students to write what their assigned pillar looks like in action in your classroom on the left side of the line.
  4. Then, on the right side of the line, direct students to write what their pillar does not look like in your classroom. Students shouldn’t simply write the opposite of what they put on the left side of the line. Instead, they should write specific examples of what that pillar doesn’t look like. (For example, if students write that sharing is a good way of demonstrating caring, they shouldn’t write “not sharing” on the right side. They should write something like, “taking something that someone else was using.”)
  5. Give students several minutes to write down some ideas. Then, ask them to rotate to the next sheet of paper. Here, they should read what the previous group wrote for that pillar and then add any additional ideas they can think of. After several minutes, rotate groups again and repeat. Each rotation can be shorter than the previous rotation, as they will start to run out of ideas to add.

Once complete, ask each group to examine their list. As a group, they should choose the three to five most important actions to demonstrate from the left side of the list, and the top three to five actions to avoid from the right side of the list. Ask each group to share and explain their choices.

Post the Six Pillar behaviors in your room and challenge each student to focus on improving one pillar that week by performing the top actions from the list.

Send the Six Pillar Gallery Walk worksheet  home with students and encourage students to create a similar list of Six Pillar behaviors at home. It is important that the list is not created just for children in the household. Whatever is on the list applies to everyone in the household. Ask everyone to sign the list and post it somewhere in the house where it will be seen.

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