Social Emotional Learning

What is Social Emotional Learning?

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.

Franklin Community Schools Basis it's SEL Framework from CASEL’s Five Core Competencies

  1. Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.

  2. Self-management: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.

  3. Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

  4. Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.

  5. Responsible decision-making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.

Photo Credit:

What is Social Emotional Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved 2020, from

Why Social-Emotional Learning in Schools?

Why does SEL belong in schools?

Students spend most of their time in school, so to ignore their social-emotional learning needs for the 30+ hours a week they spend in classrooms would be a waste of precious developmental learning time. School is also the place where students encounter the bulk of their social interactions, challenges, and opportunities for personal growth. Certainly, schools and teachers have been providing way more than academic learning for decades. However, research shows that by providing consistent, purposeful, and robust SEL programs, students can benefit in multiple ways.

According to The Pennsylvania State University and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation research brief Social Emotional Learning in Elementary School, “extensive research shows that SEL programs can promote academic achievement and positive social behavior, and reduce conduct problems, substance abuse, and emotional distress. Benefits of SEL in the elementary years have been documented in reviews by independent research teams and through meta-analyses which demonstrate the immediate and long-term positive outcomes of well-designed, well-implemented SEL programming.”

An NPR report on SEL notes that “kids who act up a lot in school and at home — even very young kids — are more likely to have mental health problems and commit crimes years later as adults.” Thus, researchers have set out to create SEL programs that serve as emotional intelligence interventions, discovering that much like we teach academic subjects, emotional intelligence can also be taught.

Why do we need social-emotional learning more than ever?

Students who receive social-emotional interventions early and throughout their learning careers demonstrate impressive and measurable benefits later on in life. The research is hard to ignore: The development of social-emotional skills in kindergarten leads to the higher likelihood of obtaining a college degree, adult employment, and lessens one’s chance of substance abuse or getting into trouble with the law as an adult (Jones, Greenberg, & Crowley, 2015). A Teachers College Study showed that, on average, for every dollar invested in SEL, there is a return of eleven dollars — a return on investment most investors would envy. Further, SEL practices could be highly effective when it comes to closing the achievement gap, disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline by furnishing undeserved populations with the critical foundational skills necessary to succeed in higher education and the workplace. SEL also includes Restorative Justice programs that have been known to reduce suspensions and keep kids in school.

The lasting impact of SEL

Long-term, SEL improves our students’ attitudes toward learning and their self-efficacy. The mounting research is staggering and it all points to social-emotional learning as a key to bolstered graduation rates, increased enrollment in institutions of higher learning, greater capacity for workplace success, improved mental health, reduced crime, and overall healthier relationships and self-efficacy amongst citizens. In a 2017 follow-up study to a 2011 SEL study, it was found that the effects of SEL continue to benefit students even years after their learning. “In follow-up assessments, an average of 3.5 years after the last intervention, the academic performance of students exposed to SEL programs was an average 13 percentile points higher than their non-SEL peers, based on the eight studies that measured academics,” the study notes. “SEL continued to boost student well-being in the form of greater social and emotional competencies, prosocial behavior, and prosocial attitudes. Furthermore, SEL students showed lasting decreases in negative outcomes such as conduct problems, emotional distress, and drug use, compared to control groups.”

As the collective understanding of trauma-informed practice deepens, this necessitates a move toward classrooms that cover emotional intelligence, self-awareness, emotional regulation, interpersonal relationships, and positive decision-making. SEL is a powerful mechanism for instilling long-term social and emotional resilience and addressing student trauma.

Retrieved from:


SEL Curriculum FCS Currently Utilizes

Course Libraries (FREE)

Activities and Lessons

SEL Toolbox (includes multiples resources in one document)

Phone Apps



For a list of more phone apps click HERE!

Kid Friendly Websites


  • Identifying emotions

  • Exploring Identities

  • Accurate self-perception

  • Recognizing strengths

  • Self-confidence

  • Self-efficacy

Florida Dept. of Education - Self Awareness

Understanding My Teen Brain - Brandie Oliver, Butler University

PBS Videos - Self Awareness


  • Impulse control

  • Stress management

  • Self-discipline

  • Self-motivation

  • Goal-setting

  • Organizational skills

PBS Videos - Self Management

Coping & Calming

Coping and Calming

Lesson Plans (printables)





Lesson Plans:

Deep Breathing - Mindfulness breathing is a simple practice that you can use any place, at any time! The primary goal is a simple calm, non-judging awareness, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without getting caught up in them.

Gratitude - ​The practice of gratitude focuses our attention on the good and the positive in our lives. This helps us appreciate the things that we tend to take for granted.

Positive Affirmations - Affirmations are short, powerful, yet simple statements designed to encourage us to achieve our goals. They are positive words said in present tense, and they are repeated often, with genuine feeling and personal connection to their meaning. Positive affirmations are designed to reframe and combat self-defeating thoughts, and support healthy cognitive patterns and gratitude.

Grounding Exercises - ¨Grounding¨ is a great exercise that reminds us to live in the “here-and-now”. It reduces feelings of stress and helps us calm down quickly.

Go Noodle to De-Stress - GoNoodle helps you get moving with short interactive activities. Desk-side movement can help us achieve more by keeping ourselves engaged and motivated throughout the day.


Self Regulation (games and activities)

Center for Developing Child - Harvard University


  • Perspective-taking

  • Empathy

  • Appreciating diversity

  • Respect for others

PBS Videos - Social Awareness


  • Communication

  • Social engagement

  • Relationship-building

  • Teamwork

Florida Dept. of Education - Relationship Skills

PBS Videos - Relationship Skill Building


  • Identifying problems

  • Analyzing situations

  • Solving problems

  • Evaluating

  • Reflecting

  • Ethical responsibility

PBS Videos - Responsible Decision Making

Florida Dept. of Education - Goal Setting & Decision Making