TeachersFirst's Social and Emotional Learning Resources
Social-emotional Learning (SEL) is the process by which students of all ages develop and use social and emotional skills, knowledge, and attitudes. Using SEL skills, students better understand emotion, manage their own, and show empathy towards others. SEL skills also help students set and achieve positive goals. Although this is an ongoing process through all grade levels, you can begin to instill these skills and understandings in even your youngest students. We encourage you to find appropriate tools and resources in this collection to use with your students and in your lessons.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomTeachers can find links to individual games, downloadable curricula for various video games, lesson plans, and teaching resources. These game simulations are designed to build skills in decision-making, understanding bias, compromise, advocacy, and collaboration among students. The games support face-to-face interaction and can also be adapted to the needs of online and hybrid learning environments.
Grades6 to 9
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this lesson plan for use with lessons on media literacy, social media, or social-emotional learning. Engage students by creating visual mindmaps or flow charts using Coggle, reviewed here. For example, create a mind map with different social platforms and ask students to share the pros and cons of using each tool. Use a flow chart to share suggestions on how to address common issues that occur through the use of social media and relationships. As a final activity, ask students to create interesting video presentations using Typito, reviewed here. Typito's drag and drop interface includes free templates, drag and drop features, and the ability to personalize and share content easily.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse the Overcoming Obstacles curriculum as a stand-alone life-skills curriculum or as a supplement to your current teaching materials. If you cannot take advantage of the complete curriculum, use the site's library to find lessons and activities on specific topics to address in your classroom as needed. For example, if peer pressure is a concern, select that activity to include in classroom lessons. Many of the activities include role-playing, extend these activities by creating student-led podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here. Create podcasts with different scenarios for students to role-play appropriate and inappropriate responses, including suggestions for making informed decisions.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomShare this anchor chart with students and post it on a bulletin board to remind students to reflect upon their work and learning process. As discussed on the information for the chart, provide students with badges for demonstrating the different qualities found on the chart. Instead of a printable badge, use a digital badge creation tool such as Open Badges, reviewed here, to create unique badges to share with students. Include students in reflection and developing positive attitudes by encouraging them to use this anchor chart as an example to create their acronym and learning attitude goals. Use Canva Edu, reviewed here, to design and share anchor charts to print and display in your classroom and online.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomShare WellCheq with your school counselors for possible use in monitoring the mental wellness of students. If your school doesn't want to use a program such as this, consider other possibilities for sharing wellness tips with students and parents and share resources for obtaining help when needed. Find resources at the TeachersFirst Resources for Self-Identity Special Topics Page.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomAlong makes it easy for you to implement this tool into your classroom with their many free resources. Resources include guides to introducing Along to students and fellow educators. Share the privacy information guide with parents as you begin using this tool. Begin by using the customizable calendar as a method for planning to introduce and use Along. Consider using the information found on the site to create and share a presentation about this product using Google Slides, reviewed here, or by creating a short video using Adobe Creative Cloud Express Video Maker reviewed here. Be sure to show students how to prepare for their responses. If you find some students are reluctant to use one of the modes, for instance, the video, work with that student to help them feel comfortable. Uses for this tool are only limited by your imagination! Check-in with students during long projects or reports to see where they are in the process and if they have any frustrations, check-in after a science lab to see who has questions, ask students at the end of a project or lab what they would do differently next time. Check-in with Language arts book groups to see how students are doing with the novel, their group, the project at the end, etc.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): bullying (48), climate change (84), conflict resolution (9), disasters (36), diversity (34), elections (78), holidays (151), Juneteenth (18), politics (109), racism (74), religions (71), social and emotional learning (73), women (116)
In the ClassroomEngage students in any of the provided lessons by starting with a simple poll using Slido, reviewed here. For example, ask students if they are familiar with the topic discussed, have experienced a similar emotion, or display an image on your whiteboard and ask students if they know what it represents. Enhance learning throughout any of the lessons by sharing additional resources using a curation tool such as Padlet, reviewed here. Add links to videos, articles, or online activities related to the lesson's content. As you complete lesson activities, extend learning by asking students to share their understanding by creating digital books using Book Creator, reviewed here, flyers made with Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here, or infographics created with Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to use as a resource for fostering productive class conversations as needed when discussing difficult events. Be sure to share this site with parents who are also dealing with students that are dealing with tragic events at home. After allowing time to reflect upon the events and your classroom discussions, some students may need additional time to process the information. Provide an additional outlet using Google Jamboard, reviewed here. Create a Jamboard that allows students to add sticky notes anonymously that share their feelings or solutions to difficult problems. Curate resources for students (and parents) that include age-specific information such as news articles, videos, and background information using a curation tool such as Wakelet, reviewed here. Consider creating a Wakelet for parents and guardians with information to use at home to support students in meaningful ways. Provide students a creative outlet to share their emotions by suggesting they create short videos, flyers, or websites using the free tools found at Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here. Find more resources to help facilitate difficult conversations on this Special Topics Page.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude these free lessons in a variety of ways in your classroom. Use the content to help students understand social causes important to them and how to engage in their cause. This site offers various methods to create social issue campaigns, including music, film, and persuasive writing opportunities. Use this information to differentiate learning opportunities for students with activities that appeal to their interests.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomInclude lessons and materials found on this site within your classroom to develop empathy and community. Engage students in your activities by creating word clouds of words that promote empathy and understanding using a word cloud creation tool such as WordClouds, reviewed here. Develop those words even further by using Answer Garden, reviewed here, as an anonymous answer response tool. For example, one activity focuses on Appreciating Those Behind the Scenes. Create an Answer Garden poll for students to share specific ideas on those that help behind the scenes and ways to express appreciation for their work. Extend student learning by asking them to create and share ways for others to demonstrate empathy. Provide options for students to create videos using Adobe Creative Cloud Express Video Maker, reviewed here, design digital books using Book Creator, reviewed here, or write a poem using the Poem Generator, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomShare the resource guides with parents and students on your class website to use when facing any of the covered topics. Use Padlet, reviewed here, or Wakelet, reviewed here, to curate and share helpful guides for parents and students within one collection. As you and your class discuss problems that face teens, ask students to use Canva Edu, reviewed here, to share what they learn. For example, have students create posters to display in the classroom that include the dangers of drug abuse and include tips for helping someone that displays signs of drug abuse. Ask other students to design and share infographics that include facts and figures discussing cyberbullying, along with suggestions on how to respond to bullies.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this article to show students how to develop empathy for others and provide appropriate emotional support to those in need. Engage students in learning about the different forms of empathy by creating mind maps using a creation tool such as Whimsical Mind Maps, reviewed here, to provide a visual representation of how to support others in distress. If you teach younger students, help them understand emotions by creating word clouds at WordClouds, reviewed here, using words provided by students that describe feelings. Extend learning further by creating a Padlet, reviewed here, divided into three columns representing each form of empathy. Ask students to share ideas on recognizing the different forms and methods for showing compassion towards others.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomShare this article with parents to use as a guide when talking to their child about any difficult topic. Consider creating a collection of articles using Wakelet, reviewed here, and share with parents to use at home. Be sure to keep the suggestions in mind for use in the classroom when addressing difficult subjects or as you address controversies that arise throughout the school year.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThe guide shared on this website provides a structured framework for evaluating any social/emotional learning program. Use the information to analyze any programs or tools being considered for use in your classroom. Share this guide with administrators in your district to use when considering implementing new learning programs. Create your own evaluation framework based on this information using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to serve as a useful look at the pros and cons of the resource being considered.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this lesson with others as part of character education and empathy activities. The starter activity includes students sharing a time they experienced different feelings. Use AnswerGarden, reviewed here, to post each question and ask students to share their response. This allows students to answer anonymously while still creating a visual word cloud with responses. Copy the embed code to include each of the word clouds on your class website or share using your AnswerGarden poll's link. Include all of the polls within one collaborative Wakelet collection, reviewed here, that includes students' responses to the other lesson activities including written reflections, analysis of your school's bullying policy, and discussions of how to recognize and encourage empathy in others.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomBe sure to investigate the abundance of resources and information shared in this free toolkit for use in classroom lessons on social and leadership skills, empathy, and problem-solving. Several portions in the booklet include scenarios and questions for discussions. Extend student learning by challenging student groups to create weekly podcasts addressing common social issues along with suggestions for dealing with them. PodcastGenerator, reviewed here, offers free tools for podcasting. Use the resources and suggestions with character education activities throughout the year. Share ideas from this site with parents to use at home with their children. Create a class (or school) bulletin board with examples of students demonstrating empathy.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomDiscover the many free resources on this site to provide individual lessons or complete learning units for your students. As students complete assignments, use the many offerings found at Class Tools, reviewed here, to enhance learning through creating timelines, completing graphic organizers, and more. For activities that include new vocabulary, use a digital game creation site such as Baamboozle, reviewed here, to review and practice new words and terms. Have students show what they know upon completion of any of the activities using Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here, to create a collage, poster, flyer, or multimedia presentation sharing their knowledge of the subject.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomFind resources and explore ways to build and strengthen social emotional learning (SEL) within the classroom. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for sites and information related to social emotional learning (SEL).
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomUse Classroomscreen on your interactive whiteboard for quick access to many commonly used tools. Add to student computers for access to a calculator and text box for notes. ENL/ESL teachers will enjoy the multi-language feature, set it up under Personalize. Use the different backgrounds as inspiration for creative writing projects.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): bullying (48), character education (74), difficult conversations (54), mental health (31), mentoring (6), school violence (10), social and emotional learning (73), social skills (22), sports (77)