13 SEL Activities to build Social and Emotional Skills in a Class (Part-2)

By: Admin 18 April, 2017

Continued from Part 1, click here to read.


6. Old Memories



Collect baby pictures from your students. Project one baby picture at the start of class, have your students guess who it is, and then have the featured student share something about their childhood.


7. Being Positive


Have each student stick a sheet of paper onto their back and then walk around and write positive qualities about their peers on their backs.


8. Interests and Motivation


Ask two students to start the class with a presentation on a topic related to your course. The presentation should also contain example from real life. Have the rest of the class partner up to discuss their questions for one minute and then give them the opportunity to share out to the whole class. This exercise gives your students insight into their peers’ interests.


Sharing with the group:

9. Circle sharing:



To encourage active listening, create small groups. To strengthen empathy, you can start a deeper discussion around what a student shares by asking, “Why did that student share what they did?” or “What perspective is that student coming from?”



10. Write a poem from someone else’s perspective


Have students choose someone they don’t know and write on their behalf. This helps them to understand that they don’t need to be best friends with someone to empathize with them.



11. Have a conversation with a stranger student


Have students pair up with a student they don’t know and provide the pairs with five questions to ask each other. Each student introduces their partner to the class, speaking as if they were their partner, while the rest of the class looks at the student when being introduced.



12. Play interest and identity bingo


Instead of squares filled with numbers or vocabulary words, create cards with information relating to your students. Summit’s Bingo cards have things like ‘I like to read’ or ‘I was born in a different country.’


Closing Activity



13. Appreciation and Apology


Have your students get in a circle and share an appreciation, apology, or realization with the group. For example, I would like to appreciate Rahul for facilitating the conversation in our small group. Or, I would like to thank everyone for taking this class seriously. Also, I apologize to everyone for having my headphones in for half of the time.


Encourage authentic and timely apologies. Apologizing for something that happened a long time ago has less impact than apologizing for something that happened that day or week. Let your students know that they don’t have to name who they’re apologizing to when they apologize for what they did.


When you pay attention to each other, not only does it build a sense of community, but we’re more able to understand other people. If you're able to understand people at a younger age, you could work better with them as adults. That changes how the future generations will be. People can be more accepting, more helpful towards each other.

This article has excerpts from Edutopia. Read the original here.