Students use paint to put their hand/fingerprint and signature on a community wall.


  1. Cognitive: Students will demonstrate knowledge of concept of community.
  2. Affective: Students will feel connected to the classroom/school community.

CASEL Competencies

  • Social Awareness
  • Relationship Skills


Wall or butcher/poster paper, paint, sinks (for cleanup), markers, student roster

Teacher Prep

Prepare stations for students to work at.


Time Activity Notes
2 min Explain that group will be creating a community wall of hand or thumbprints and that all students should participate in some fashion. This activity is a way to connect with others in the school community.

Even if students don’t want to use paint, encourage them to sign the wall.

Encourage all students to take part.
8 min Instruct students to take turns getting paint for hand/thumbprint. Respecting others’ art, wash hands when print is added to group wall. Then they can sign their name next to their print. Consider the classroom setting before students work with paint. Plan a clear path to the sink.
5 min Wrap up the activity by celebrating community efforts.

Optional: Set a time to have a formal unveiling of the completed display.

Offer time for students to gather thoughts. Ask students to share observation (in pairs, small group, whole group).

Highlight the group experience.

  • What’s it like being in a group activity where everyone participates?
  • What is it like seeing your classmates’ prints together?

Teacher Reflection

How did you feel after the activity? Did students participate and seem engaged? Remember to ask the students to share their feedback on the activity: What went well? What suggestions do they have for making the activity better? Think about what you might do differently next time.

Emotional Intelligence Tips

  • Go over norms about respecting other people’s work
  • Optional: Use school colors to promote school spirit
  • Optional: Cover the dry paper with plexiglass so it lasts
  • Encourage students to be patient, respectful, and open, and to reserve judgment
  • Approach student work with curiosity