Are you teaching social emotional curriculum but feeling a bit let down by student’s participation? Do you wish your students were a little more engaged? Here are 5 tips to liven up and reengage your students:

1. Smile…If you are not having a great time the students will pick up on it. Some of the topics can feel a bit heavy and students may clam up.

2. Share…If you have a personal story, share it. Students love to hear the blunders that adults have faced. You don’t have to give explicit details but if you are teaching about apologies give an example of when you had to give one yourself.

3. Show…Most students love to role play. To learn some of the finer details in the lessons, role playing is the best way for them to practice (e.g. facial expressions, body posture, tone of voice). For younger students, puppets and books are a great way for students to see what a behavior looks like.

4. Support…Give students a lot of support as they are learning new ways to think and behave. Apply the same learning principals for learning new behaviors as we would for learning new academic content. Teach the lesson and expect some errors. Have students support each other by being detectives during the role plays and give feedback to each other.

5. Strengthen…Give lots of praise and reinforcement for effort. It’s not always easy to learn new behavior but know that the more the students attempt the new behavior, the more likely that behavior will be strengthened.

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