A student’s first few years in a school system includes learning many new social skills. Students have to sit and listen to the teacher. They have to raise their hand to talk. They have to cooperate with other students and take turns. These behaviors are not often natural and need to be learned. Teaching PreK-2nd grade students the basic Social Emotional Learning skills is important to providing a solid foundation to help students be successful in future years.
Many schools are now requiring educators to teach Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills to their students. There are some good programs that help teachers incorporate SEL into everyday practices. Unfortunately there are not many materials yet to teach SEL for these ages. You often just discuss social emotional issues with students when situations happen in the classroom.
We recommend to any of teachers, social workers, counselors, or psychologists working with this age to present the skills in fun ways. For this age, the use of puppets, modeling, picture books, and videos are a great way to teach each skill while keeping it fun. Using a lesson plan for this age is essential because too much discussion can lead to problem behavior or no real outcomes.