Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a hot topic, but it’s certainly not new. Skills like empathy, cultivating and maintaining positive relationships, recognizing and managing emotions, problem solving, approaching tasks with grit and perseverance, and taking on others’ perspectives have always, and will always, be crucial to kids’ success. Research shared by CASEL reports that SEL programs lead to “immediate improvements in mental health, social skills, and academic achievement,” and “up to 18 years later, students exposed to SEL in school continue to do better than their peers on a number of indicators: positive social behaviors and attitudes, skills such as empathy and teamwork, and academics.” SEL is certainly worthy of time and attention from those who support children’s development.
Books are valuable tools for guiding conversations about SEL topics. Children can examine and learn from characters’ actions and experiences and relate them to their own. Of course, book selection is key. When kids see both themselves and others in diverse books, it says, “You matter. Reflect on your experiences.” and “Others matter. Listen and learn.” Therein lies the heart of SEL.
As students grow and change, so do their social emotional learning needs. Linking diverse books to SEL goals and challenges across different ages is a powerful way to support students as they navigate each developmental stage. This blog series explores how diverse books can be used to support social emotional learning at different grade levels.Continue reading →
Thank you to everyone who joined us this week for our webinar, “Using Diverse Books to Support Social and Emotional Learning”! If you missed it live (or just want to watch again), here is a recording of the webinar:
Hey educators! Start the new year off right by joining our free 45-minute upcoming webinar on using diverse books to support social and emotional learning. This free PD offering is perfect for teachers, literacy coaches, administrators, and librarians who are looking to expand their knowledge on social and emotional learning. Continue reading →
Today we are pleased to share this guest post from Librarian and Diversity Coordinator Laura Reiko Simeon on using picture books to support social and emotional learning (SEL). Welcome, Laura!
One day a new sixth grader walked into my school library, wandered over and gazed longingly at the picture book shelves, and then told me sadly that at her old school her teacher told her she wasn’t allowed to read them because they were below her reading level. I bit back my initial uncensored opinion of said teacher and mildly replied that the wonderful thing about picture books was that you could enjoy them at any age–and that no one here would stop her from borrowing whatever she liked!
This story connects to a project I developed that is currently in its seventh year. It’s taken various forms and spanned various grade levels from K-4 to K-8, but the goals have remained the same: Continue reading →
LEE & LOW BOOKS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and to recognize how far the company has come, we are featuring one title a week to see how it is being used in classrooms today, as well as hear from the authors and illustrators. Today we’re featuring one of our recent favorites, Juna’s Jar! Published in 2015, this sweet story with universal appeal and a touch of magical realism received widespread acclaim and continues to resonate with readers of all ages. Continue reading →