Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) for Middle School
Character is the essence of an individual’s makeup; it defines who they are and impacts everything from the decisions they make to the relationships they keep. However, “character” is not a subject typically taught in schools. With 62% of teachers reporting instances of bullying in their schools in the past month, guiding children and young adults towards positive, healthy relationships is becoming imperative. How do we reach impressionable young minds in a way that speaks to them and helps them build strong attributes during these critical formative years?
This course, now reaching over 1 million students in 12,000+ schools across the country, was created for students 6th-9th grade and sponsored by The United Way and the National Football League (NFL). This is the first fully digital course to educate students on the importance of maintaining healthy relationships and making good decisions throughout middle school and into high school.
This course was created with a graphic novel style approach to fully engage the students and make the characters and situations feel more relatable. There are 6 different modules all centered around character development and social and emotional learning. This course gives students a chance to engage in interactive scenarios that will challenge them on how to navigate appropriately while solving conflicts. Each module features characters who are facing a complex real-life situation caused by a simple miscommunications or a conflict in a friendship. The instructional design of the course always leads students to a positive solution. The learning experience actively involves the student in each scenario. By applying the strategies they’ve learned throughout the course, students demonstrate their understanding of these skills in a safe, fun environment.
This course covers:
- Analyzing Influences
- Understanding and Managing Emotions
- Communicating Effectively
- Resolving Conflicts
- Stepping In
- Making Decisions
In Analyzing Influences students are shown that their worldview is shaped not only by their internal thoughts but also by the world around them. Their friends, family, teachers, media and pop culture all shape how they view the world. They are asked to consider what their strengths are and what they want to improve. Students will form a positive self-image that will help them create their unique perspective and not always be swayed by negative influences.
In the Understanding and Managing Emotions module students learn how to read others’ emotions and how to effectively understand, manage, and express their own emotions.
Healthy relationships begin with Communicating Effectively. In this module, students learn strategies on how to be active listeners and how to communicate so that their thoughts are heard and not lost in translation. They are taught about the importance of body language, social cues and identifying communication barriers.
In Resolving Conflicts students are taught that not all conflicts are resolvable; however, there are strategies for resolution that are simple. After playing this module, students can recognize types of conflict and why they occur, as well as identify the best solution for each conflict type. Students are shown positive ways to communicate their thoughts and how to avoid and manage those conflicts.
In the Stepping In module, students learn how to cultivate healthy relationships and how to recognize and intervene in unhealthy relationships. This module shows students the importance of compassion and having the courage to take action when experiencing or witnessing an unhealthy relationship.
The Making Decisions module teaches students how to make sound decisions through the six steps of a decision diagram. They weigh options and reflect on their personal values when faced with difficult situations. They are guided to make smart and thoughtful choices.
Throughout this course, reflective exercises allow students the chance to relate these topics to their own personal experiences. This is a self-paced course with short quizzes at the end assessing their knowledge retention. Progress and scores can easily be tracked through the instructor’s online grade book. This co-curricular resource facilitates a true blended learning environment by providing high quality content as well as supplemental lesson plans.
This course aligns with National Health Education Standards (NHES) and is modeled after the core social and emotional competencies provided by Collaborative for Active Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
This course was created for students 6th-9th grade and sponsored by The United Way and the National Football League (NFL). This is the first fully digital course to educate students on the importance of maintaining healthy relationships and making good decisions.