Designed to foster social emotional competence, the activities in this packet are organized around CASEL’s five core SEL standards: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.
Provide opportunities for students to find ways to share more about themselves.
Talents & Traits Showcase
Invite students to consider what makes them special and unique and create a presentation to showcase their traits and talents. Here are some formats to try:
- Slideshow: Students create a slideshow about themselves using photos and words to highlight where they live, their age, who is in their family, favorite things (e.g. school subject, sport, food, music, book, movie), one new thing they are hoping to learn, a special skills or passion, etc.
- Collage: Students create a collage using words, drawings, pictures cut from magazines, and other materials to describe themselves.
- Word Cloud: Students brainstorm words that describe themselves and create a word cloud. Try online generators such as wordle.net or wordclouds.com.
- Video: Students create a video about themselves that they can share with their teacher or online classroom community.
Personal Reflection Writing Prompts
Encourage students to reflect on themselves and their experiences by responding to a writing prompt, such as:
- What are some of my greatest strengths? What are some things I struggle with?
- Describe how you’re feeling about not being in school right now.
- What career would you like to have when you’re older? How will your strengths, skills, and talents help you achieve your goal?
What Makes Me … Me!
Invite students to articulate their ideas, thoughts, and feelings regarding their own strengths and challenges. Click here for a lesson guide.
Provide opportunities for students to reflect on how they manage their behaviors and emotions in challenging situations
Help students identify their own emotional triggers and coping strategies. Click here for a lesson guide.
Ask students to create a journal using a small notebook or by stapling paper together. At breakfast each day, students will write the date on a blank page of their journal and list the emotions they are experiencing.
Brainstorm with your child about where they can go in your house (or yard) if they are feeling emotionally escalated.
Ask students to use a basket or box to gather items from around their homes that they can use for fidgets when they are feeling stressed.
Have students create a poster of strategies they can use to manage their stress and anxiety during this unprecedented time.
COVID-19 Social Story
Read the digital social story, My Coronavirus Story, about COVID-19, then have a discussion with your student(s) about how they are feeling.
Provide opportunities for students to gain social awareness of others and how they are dealing with the current changes in our lives.
What Is Empathy?
Help your students understand the term “empathy.” Click here for a lesson guide.
Empathy on Display
Take a virtual tour of the Empathy Museum and follow up with a discussion or written response about students’ ideas for new exhibits.
Shared Experiences Interviews
Have students create interview questions to learn about how others are dealing with COVID-19. Students can create an online survey, call, use social media, or video chat to connect with friends and family members and conduct their interviews.
Spread Empathy Video
Challenge students to explain “empathy” to others by making a video using video editing software or an app, such as iMovie.
Celebrate Someone Special
Have students make a list of important people in their lives. Students will select one person from their list to write an essay describing who the person is and why they are important in the student’s life.
Provide opportunities for students to gain greater relationship skills.
Friends Far & Near
Create an opportunity for your student to have a pen pal. Dedicate 30 minutes 2-3 times per week for your student to write their pen pal an email or message. Encourage your student to communicate clearly through written form and take the time to respond directly to what their pen pal is writing to them.
Think Creatively, Together
Help students think outside the box by working on a Rube Goldberg-style project with a sibling. If the student is an only child, have them create their own project, sharing their progress along the way with a friend through video calls. Find ideas and free resources at RubeGoldberg.com.
Reinforce that teamwork is an essential part of any relationship. Challenge students (or your own family!) to brainstorm a list of team norms and expectations for how to behave and treat each other while at home during this time of physical distancing. Then work together to create a task/chore list to show team members’ responsibilities.
Ask students to write personal notes to friends and family that they cannot see in person to demonstrate empathy and stay connected.
Responsible Decision Making
Provide opportunities for students to gain greater skills in responsible decision making.
Social Distancing Pledge
Ask students to watch the video “Kids Explain Social Distancing” (3:15) by Kid Explorer and then write their own pledge with at least five things they’ll do to abide by social distancing.
Physical Distancing PSA
Have students create their own PSAs for social distancing as an example of responsible decision making during this challenging time. Encourage students to do some research and then to write a script and create a video or audio recording to post to social media or a digital classroom.
Decision Making in Real Time
Nurture decision making as a core SEL skill by asking students to notice when they need to make a decision and encouraging them to use the following steps to tackle it:
- Identify the problem you need to solve
- Analyze the situation and discuss potential options for solving
- Reflect about the process and outcome
Decision Making Stories
Have students write a story about a time they had to make a decision. Students should address the following elements in their stories:
- Describe the situation
- Identify the problem
- Describe the various options for solving the problem
- Share how you solved the problem
- Reflect on the process and solution: What did you learn that could help you in the future?
Watching videos and having meaningful conversations is a great way to support the growth and development of SEL skills. Below is a curated list of videos that you and your child can watch followed by discussion questions.
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