Activity I

Activity #1:  Affirmation, Motivation, Inspiration WALL


This creative exercise sets the stage for a positive year and gives students an opportunity to build their own wall of affirmation, motivation, inspiration and celebration.


  • To visually see the direction the school wants to go in this year.
  • To support a culture shift that is positive, affirming and inspirational.
  • To give students the opportunity to affirm, motivate, inspire and celebrate each other.


Requirements & Materials

Group Size:     not applicable

Time:               10 minutes sometime in the first week of school

Space:              one wall in the school that is central to students, preferably in an area that is highly populated and frequently traveled

Materials:        butcher paper, markers, banners, small posters



1        Put words around the school to set an environment that are positive, affirming, motivational, inspirational, and that celebrates difference. Below are some to get you started. You can use quotes, mottos, sayings, poems, prose or song lyrics that are affirming, motivational and inspirational. Place them around the school so students see these words all over the building.

2        Make sure to rotate, or change these words about every month or so. All humans tune out after a time period where things stay the same. You don’t want it to lose its purpose – if it stays too long it becomes invisible/unimportant/boring!

3        Prior to school – cover one large wall with butcher paper or oak tag paper. Make it sturdy to last the year. Label the wall something like: “Our wall!” or “Our wall of respect, motivation, inspiration, affirmation!” or “Our wall of Celebration”

4        During the first few days of school every homeroom teacher (or other school staff) tells the students about the wall and asks them to contribute to the wall: they can contribute original pieces or works by others in any written form: poems, quotes, mottos, bumper stickers, song lyrics, or prose. This is their collage of words to celebrate, inspire, motivate, and affirm themselves and each other. 

5        Once a week, or more depending on quantity, have a student (or students!) read during daily morning announcements.  Encourage creativity here – music or poetry or any modality that resonates for the students.

6        Try hard not to put restrictions on what can go up on the wall. Remember to push all the positive words/concepts.


  • Have students copy down all the words from the wall and start a book that can be sold to raise money for a party or some other happening. Or add all the words to the yearbook!!
  • Have a poetry slam once or twice a year. Or creativity day where original words are shared be that poetry or songs or mottos etc.


Some examples:

  • Goodness is a boomerang.
  • Be an ally when no one knows.
  • Be an ally when no one else is.
  • Be an ally because it feels good.
  • Pay it forward.
  • If you see mean, INTERVENE!!
  • Speak up for someone who needs it – you will feel better as a bonus.
  • What goes around comes around.
  • Stand up for the underdog!
  • Do another good deed – just to feel good about yourself.
  • The YES! Campaign
  • Don’t allow yourself to sit in judgment. It actually makes you feel bad about yourself
  • Karma


  • Don’t watch – do something!
  • The essence of education is to help you discover your uniqueness, teach you how to develop it, and show you how to give it away.              Leo Buscaglia
  • You must be the change you wish to see in the world.               Mahatma Gandhi

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