Common Sense


Great Social and Emotional Learning Curricula and Programs

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is key to great learning experiences and personal growth. Implementing SEL and character education in schools sets students up with skills they can use to navigate relationships, manage their emotions, explore different perspectives, and act with integrity. Pro-social students can better cope with stress, find and give support when needed, and recognize their emotions. All of these things make succeeding in school easier and have long-term benefits on students' lives and relationships. Teachers know this, and that's why we've created this list of SEL programs and curricula worth your time. Some are comprehensive -- both in content and grade level -- while others focus on particular skills or age ranges. Others embed SEL learning inside experiences that focus on particular content areas. All of them, however, offer high-quality experiences that help students grow and flourish as people.

For Common Sense's own SEL resources, make sure to visit our SEL in Digital Life Resource Center.

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Top Picks


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Complete SEL units in a neat and tidy package

Bottom line: Detailed social and emotional learning lessons provide teachers with almost everything they'll need to spark positive character development and reflection in their students.


Shake up SEL lessons with music and movement

Bottom line: Fun for students, easy for teachers, QuaverSEL uses the power of music to boost social and emotional learning.

Move This World

Activity-oriented video lessons encourage emotional exploration

Bottom line: This detailed yet easy-to-implement curriculum can provide classrooms and schools with a common language for social skills.

Second Step

Research-based SEL curriculum teaches life skills to kids and adults

Bottom line: Students and teachers develop proficiency in vital social and emotional learning skills through well-designed, interactive learning modules.

Zoo Academy

Uncage compassion and learn social-emotional awareness with a cast of cute zoo animals

Bottom line: Interactive program with practice activities teaches SEL to young students.

Wisdom: The World of Emotions

Quirky game helps kids recognize and regulate anger in self and others

Bottom line: If they can get through the confusing bits, students will be able to identify, label, and perhaps manage strong feelings of anger or frustration.

Emotional ABCs Classroom

Strong learning approach to mastering SEL competencies

Bottom line: Excellent program for teaching young kids emotion identification, regulation, and social relationships.


Short interviews teach kids about empathy, kindness, and imagination

Bottom line: Compact, flexible lessons can help teachers introduce students to valuable social and emotional strengths.

AIM Buddy Project

Well-organized SEL program pairs older and younger students for discussion

Bottom line: The AIM Buddy Project is an enjoyable, effective program for teaching SEL concepts and making elementary students feel more connected with each other.

Sanford Harmony Game Room

Low- to no-prep activities for community-building SEL

Bottom line: Simple SEL integration with conversation starters and team building.

7 Mindsets

Thought-provoking structured program simplifies SEL skills

Bottom line: If teachers take advantage of the extension activities, students can get great in-depth instruction and practice in SEL skills needed for life.


Daily snapshots of student well-being with strategies for struggles

Bottom line: This quick, easy way to consistently assess students' emotional health requires thoughtful implementation.

The Compassion Project

Offline activities elevate digital SEL platform

Bottom line: Teachers should use the extension activities in the lesson plans to take full advantage of the program.

S.S. Grin

Fantastical game helps teach friendship skills through storytelling

Bottom line: Riveting role-playing game reinforces relationship skills, but plan carefully so that students can save their game.

Common Sense Selection

Read to Lead

Realistic games provide career-based practice for ELA and SEL skills

Bottom line: A great middle school choice for integrating literacy skills with real-life scenarios and careers.

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