Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum for Middle School


SEL programs for middle school are crucial to student success

Middle schoolers are entering a critical period in their lives, becoming more independent, and figuring out who they are and what they believe in. They are navigating complex peer relationships and learning how to resolve conflicts. At this age, they can make decisions with intention and reflect on the consequences.

An effective social-emotional learning curriculum for middle school considers these unique developmental needs and ensures that students develop self-awareness as they find real-world solutions to the challenges they encounter.

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Curriculum Foundation

The five SEL competencies developed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) are crucial to students’ learning and development.

5 SEL Competencies
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These skills should be at the core of SEL programs for middle school.
  • Self-Awarenes: Recognizing emotions and their effect on behavior
  • Self-Management: Regulating emotions, thoughts, and behaviors; managing stress, setting goals, and staying motivated
  • Responsible Decision-Making: Making constructive decisions in social situations based on ethics, safety, and social norms
  • Relationship Skills: Developing positive relationships with diverse groups and individuals; communicating clearly and cooperating with others
  • Social Awareness: Empathizing and understanding the views of others, including those of other cultures or backgrounds

SEL Curriculum for Middle School

The A Chance in the World curriculum for Grades 8–12 is based on the best-selling memoir by Steve Pemberton. Students use surveys and charts to examine their own cognitive and behavioral patterns and the issues that matter them.

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Written for teachers, by teachers, the curriculum highlights the life-changing power of resilience, hope, and empathy through:
  • SEL discussion starters and activities
  • A language arts lesson
  • Related readings and project ideas
  • A personal narrative writing workshop

See how A Chance in The World SEL curriculum can make positive change in your classroom.


HMH Middle School Programs with SEL Built Right In

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Into Literature®

HMH Into Literature helps students in Grades 6–12 grow into tomorrow’s leaders with ELA instruction that integrates SEL competencies like self-awareness and relationship building.

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Math in Focus®

Math in Focus helps K–8 students develop SEL competencies with real-world STEAM projects and prompts encouraging robust discussion about ways to approach routine and novel problems.

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HMH Social Studies

HMH Social Studies incorporates SEL into the 6–12 curriculum with document-based investigations and essential questions that prepare students for college, career, and civic life.

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English 3D

English 3D gives students in Grades 4–12 the opportunity to explore themes relevant to their lives, such as bullying, belonging, identity, valuing one’s heritage, and overcoming adversity.


K–8 students thrive with Waggle’s innovative ELD supports, SEL framework, and embedded gaming that rewards positive learning behaviors and proficiency.

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Writable incorporates SEL into the 6–8 program with video biographies showcasing the lives of historical figures, giving students the opportunity to explore diverse perspectives.

Discover how our SEL curriculums for middle school can help your students thrive in school and life.