If your students are still learning virtually, or learning from home (or elsewhere) occasionally, there are many fun ways to include them in your lessons. Try one of these remote social and emotional learning (SEL) activities with your classroom and create a virtual community! Plus, with the holidays around the corner, it’s the perfect time of year to allow students the space to manage their emotions and develop their sense of empathy.
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines SEL as:
"The process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions."
Here’s a list of five SEL remote activities to try with students in Grades K–8. Share these with your students at home to help them develop SEL skills like self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and responsible decision-making. Even if all of your teaching is in person right now, these activities can work well in a physical classroom too and can become valuable tools if your teaching becomes online or hybrid.
SEL Activities for Remote Learning
Research a Personal Hero
As students think about others and their contributions to their communities, they will develop social awareness and the ability to empathize. Try this activity to have students reflect on what makes a person heroic and what qualities they hope to emulate.
- Ask each student to select someone that they consider to be their personal hero. If the hero is a family member or a mentor whom they know personally, have them interview the person to uncover what makes them a positive role model. If the hero is a historical figure or famous person, ask students to research and find facts about them.
- Students can either create a poster about their hero or write a short essay explaining why that person is a hero.
- Ask students to virtually present facts about their hero to the class. This can be optional.
Decorate Your Space with a Digital Poster
Have students display the “Habits of a Learning Mindset” poster in their home work space, or as a computer background. This resource was designed to help students develop the SEL competency of self-awareness as they ask themselves questions to understand their habits and emotions more deeply. As an additional step, have students choose one habit and write down three ways in which they can develop it. Have them share their thoughts in the next class.
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