Find lessons, activities, classroom tools, and more to help students learn about character strengths.

Since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, we've heard from many educators who are looking for resources to support students' social and emotional development. To help, we've collected our best social and emotional learning (SEL) resources for building a culture of safety, kindness, and upstanding in your school. If you have any questions about how to use these in your teaching, reach out to us on social media or via email. We're here for you.

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Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Educator Toolkit

Social and emotional learning (SEL) skills aren't "core content," but they're at the core of all content. Find lessons, activities, classroom tools, and family resources to help students learn about character strengths and develop empathy, compassion, integrity, and more.

 

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Digital Citizenship and SEL

A key aspect of digital citizenship is thinking critically when faced with digital dilemmas. Navigating these challenges isn't only about rules and procedures; it's about character. Help students examine challenging online situations with this discussion guide.

 

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Resources for Classrooms

Difference -- however we might define that -- is good. It makes us who we are and makes the world wonderful. Use these tools to build an inclusive classroom culture that stands against oppressive forces like racism, sexism, homophobia, and beyond.

 

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How to Talk to Kids About Difficult Subjects

Help your students' families have frank, compassionate conversations with their kids. In a world where even little kids learn about horrific subjects, it's important for parents to put things in perspective, field questions, and search for answers together.

 

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Lesson Plans for Creating a Culture of Inclusion and Kindness

Digital Citizenship Pledge (Gr. 3–5): How do you create a positive online community? Students will establish group norms to create a positive online community that promotes responsible and respectful digital behavior within their classrooms.

Cyberbullying: Be Upstanding (Gr. 6–8): How do you judge the intentions and impact of people's words and actions online? Students learn about the difference between being a passive bystander versus a brave upstander in cyberbullying situations. 

Breaking Down Hate Speech (Gr. 9–12): How can you create a community culture in which hate speech is unacceptable, both online and offline? Students learn the definition of hate speech and understand how it affects individuals, groups, and communities.

 

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

Erin Wilkey O.

Erin’s work has focused on supporting students, teachers, and families for over a decade. As content director for family and community engagement at Common Sense, she provides parents and caregivers with practical tips and strategies for managing media and tech at home, and supports teachers in strengthening partnerships with families. Prior to her work with Common Sense, Erin taught public high school students and adult English learners in Kansas City. Her time as a National Writing Project teacher consultant nurtured her passion for student digital creation and media literacy. She has bachelor's degrees in English and secondary education and a master's degree in instructional design and technology. Erin loves to knit, read, hike, and bake. But who has time for hobbies with two young kids? In her free time these days, you'll find her hanging out at playgrounds, the zoo, and the beach with her family.