A Chance in the World Integrated SEL Curriculum

Inspire your students to "be the chance"

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is now a major focus for K–12 teachers and administrators—and for good reason. While increased needs for SEL were well established prior to 2020, recent events including the global pandemic and national protests have rapidly changed student needs for support in the areas of mental wellness and behavior.

You can help students in Grades 8–12 understand the life-changing power of hope, empathy, resilience, and acts of kindness with an all-school read or a class book study of Steve Pemberton’s A Chance in the World.

“We aren’t measured by what happens to us, but rather by how we respond to it.“

Steve Pemberton Author of A Chance in the World

Have your students struggled with any of these questions?: Where do I belong? How can I succeed when others dismiss my worth? How can I help others who don’t have much support? In what ways do my origins influence who I am?

A Chance in the World addresses these questions, moving and inspiring teens who see their own lives reflected in the author’s story, which was originally written for the author’s own children.

Teachers attest to the power of this story to engage students who may normally avoid tackling full-length books—and as an all-school read, the book serves to build community and help break down barriers among students, teachers, and staff.

Build resilience and a growth mindset

Teach students that we all have the potential to grow and change, even in the face of difficulty and failure.

Be a “human lighthouse”

Inspire students to seek positive role models and spread the word about the power of kindness, empathy, and community action.

Foster a love of books

Show students that books can motivate and empower, inspiring readers to rise above challenging circumstances to create a better future.

Program Structure

This curriculum was created for teachers, by teachers
Suggested timeline

Based on feedback from educators, we recommend six weeks for an all-school read.

Additional timing considerations

Extra time may be needed for the writing workshop and school assembly, whether in person or online.

Projects and reading

The curriculum includes a recommended project and related weekly reading, which can be assigned during or after the program.

Summer reading option

Consider assigning the book as a summer read and scheduling discussions and other activities when school begins again.

Modify schedule as needed

You may wish to focus on just SEL activities, the essential questions, and projects. Or you may wish to concentrate on ELA discussion questions and lessons, along with the writing workshop.

Celebrate completion

The program offers resources and ideas to help you facilitate a school assembly—which you may opt to host remotely—to celebrate completion of the reading.

Culminate with interview or speaker

Consider closing with a video of an interview with Steve Pemberton, or invite a speaker in person or via video whose life or work is relevant.

Support your school culture

Whichever options you choose, strive to make this educational experience reflect and support the character and spirit of your school.

Program Pairings

Explore related core and SEL

A Chance in the World is included on the HMH Into Literature novels list and can be purchased separately—and Relationships for Learning is a dedicated SEL program that prepares students for current and future success.

Social-emotional learning is a recurring theme in HMH Into Literature, and A Chance in the World Integrated SEL Curriculum is a great way to reinforce SEL competencies. Students will use charts, graphic organizers, and surveys to examine their own cognitive and behavioral patterns and explore issues and concerns that matter to teenagers.

Relationships for Learning reinforces the SEL competencies taught in both curricula, with a focus on fostering whole-child growth, improving academic achievement, and preparing tomorrow’s workforce.

Help today’s students in Grades 6–12 grow into tomorrow’s leaders with ELA instruction that integrates SEL.

HMH Into Literature
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Foster ongoing social-emotional learning with a flexible SEL program customized to your class, school, or district.

Relationships for Learning
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See how A Chance in The World Integrated SEL Curriculum can make positive change in your classroom.