Social emotional learning lessons & activities

Create a positive learning environment by building social and emotional skills.

HomeLesson PlansSocial Emotional Learning

Standard subjects like Math or English tend to dominate school curriculum and particularly standardized testing, but there are other aspects of education. One important part of a rounded curriculum is known as social emotional learning (SEL). Many teachers already incorporate social learning activities into their curriculum to help develop students’ emotional and social skills. 

By adopting a growth mindset and striving to improve our self awareness, discipline, empathy and decision-making, students are better equipped to overcome challenges in their life. Luckily, Gynzy has pre-made social emotional learning lessons and activities for teachers to use as is or customize as they’d like. Simply create an account and get started today!

What is Social-Emotional Learning?

SEL helps to provide “a foundation for safe and positive learning” for students of all backgrounds. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) offers a five-point framework for understanding these skills:

  • Self Awareness: recognizing your own thoughts, emotions, and behavior
  • Self Management: managing your own thoughts, behavior and emotions
  • Social awareness: the ability to relate and empathize with other people
  • Relationship skills: establishing and maintaining positive relationships
  • Decision-making: making good and responsible decisions

In short, social-emotional learning helps students manage their own thoughts, behaviors and emotions, as well as constructively work through conflicts they face. SEL is not a new topic, but rather a reframing of familiar topics such as character education, civics, and emotional intelligence. 

What are the Benefits of SEL?

The limits of what falls under SEL is up for debate, but the utility of SEL instruction is not. Studies have shown that explicit SEL instruction is correlated with better outcomes later in life. 

For example, this 2017 study of 97,406 K-12 students found that students who were exposed to SEL instruction “fared significantly better than controls in social-emotional skills, attitudes, and indicators of well-being.” This 2011 meta-analysis similarly found that students exposed to SEL instruction “demonstrated significantly improved social and emotional skills, attitudes, behavior, and academic performance that reflected an 11-percentile-point gain in achievement.”

On top of this, people of all walks of life understand that one does not retain information or perform well when consistently or severely stressed. SEL helps to put one in a better mindset to overcome obstacles and form relationships with others.

Social Emotional Learning Lessons

SEL is a broad subject, but the skills that fall under it are all easy to recognize and related to one another. Our introduction to mental health is a good primer for teachers looking to teach their students about these skills. Our lessons about building healthy friendships and providing service to the community are good primers for how students can relate to others. 

SEL is meant to be practical, and our lessons reflect that, such as this lesson about using coping skills to regulate anger and anxiety. Topics such as management of one’s own emotions and conflict resolution skills give us the tools we need to constructively work through problems and build strong relationships as we do so. 

One of the most important aspects of SEL and education in general is to teach us to build strong and lasting relationships with others. This necessarily involves empathy for others and goes hand-in-hand with teaching students to celebrate and accept others no matter their differences. 

We all have room to improve the way we behave, manage our emotions, and be more empathetic towards others. SEL gives us a roadmap for doing just that.

SEL Activities You Can Do From Anywhere

SEL instruction is meant to be explicit and applicable to our lives, meaning that teachers will need to adapt their lessons to fit the circumstances and meet student expectations. 

Our Daily SEL Activities include fun and open-ended prompts that will get students connecting with one another and into a proper mindset to retain new information. Our Brain Breaks similarly provide quick stress-relievers that can be thrown into lesson plans for a nice change of pace!

Gynzy makes it easy for you to combine our SEL lessons with other lesson plans to build a cohesive lesson that keeps students engaged. The best part is that this can be done from whether teachers and students are in the same room, or whether they are using some type of online learning environment. 

Simply create an account today and begin exploring for yourself!