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Middle School Activities to Promote SEL in Digital Life

Promote SEL and digital citizenship with these CASEL-aligned quick activities.

Daniel Vargas Campos | August 2, 2021

In middle school, kids begin their exploration of identity in earnest, and they often experience the pressures of increased expectations. Technology makes these experiences a little more challenging to navigate, especially as social media becomes the primary way they communicate and share with peers.

This set of 15-minute activities will help you lead meaningful conversations with your students about working through the challenges that come with living in an ever-connected world. For the full collection of K–12 activities visit our SEL in Digital Life Resource Center.

Oversharing and Your Digital Footprint (Grades 6–8)
Social media can be a place to connect, learn, and, most of all, share. But do kids know how social media can influence how they feel and act online? Help students think critically about how the pressure to share on social media can affect their emotions, their behavior, and how other people see them online.
 

Checking Our Digital Habits (Grades 6–8)
We use digital media every day, from texting, streaming TV shows, and gaming all the way to using voice assistants or ordering our food online. For today's kids, it's a lot more than just "screen time." Through this quick activity, students reflect on their media use to identify a strategy for achieving balance in their online and offline lives.

Who Are You Talking to Online? (Grades 6–8)
Games, social media, and other online spaces give kids opportunities to meet and chat with others outside their real-life communities. But how well do kids actually know the people they're meeting and interacting with? Help students be discerning about the people they talk to online, the types of information they share, and the decisions they make when talking to others online.

Friendships & Social Media (Grades 6–8)
For most middle schoolers, being on social media can mean connecting with friends, sharing pictures, and staying up to date. But it can also mean big-time distractions, social pressures, and more. Help students reflect on both the positive and negative aspects of social media and how to use it in ways that build healthy and positive relationships.

Dealing with Digital Drama (Grades 6–8)
Miscommunication is a common occurrence online and on social media. Plus, the anonymity of being online makes it easier for someone to say things they wouldn't say in person. In this quick activity, students practice taking different perspectives to identify strategies they can use to de-escalate digital drama.

Image courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action.