Social Emotional Learning Program for Elementary School

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Why is Different Awesome? is an excellent complement to our existing SEL curriculum. It not only supports individual self-reflection but it influences the way students see, understand, and value others. It also creates space for age appropriate conversations that are quite relevant and timely on issues of diversity and inclusion.

-H. Boger, Principal, Scott Elementary School

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Why Is Different Awesome? Social Emotional Learning Program

is a supplemental Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program for grades 4-5. This program is designed to be an integral part of your school’s existing comprehensive SEL program and can be adopted at an individual school or throughout an entire district.

Why Is Different Awesome? SEL Program focuses on two of the core competencies of social emotional learning: self-awareness and social awareness. It teaches learners to identify their strengths, their unique qualities, and their gifts. It teaches learners to be proud of their unique characteristics and to embrace them with confidence.

In addition to teaching learners to embrace their own unique qualities, the program teaches them to accept and celebrate differences in others and to be open to learning about the experiences of learners who are different from them. After all, everyone is different in some way. It encourages pro-social behavior and helps address challenges related to bullying, understanding differences, and poor self-esteem, all of which contribute to low academic achievement and difficulty handling social situations.

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Why Is Different Awesome? Social Emotional Learning Program

includes 14 lessons that fit seamlessly into your school’s Language Arts writing curriculum. The objective of Why Is Different Awesome? Social Emotional Learning Program is that through discussion, journaling, and sharing every child can learn to embrace their special qualities and respect those of others.

Through carefully crafted writing prompts, students can reflect on topics such as self love, embracing differences, feeling empathy, preventing bullying, developing friendships, sharing kindness, and feeling gratitude.

The journaling provides opportunities to practice important writing skills such as sentence structure, grammar, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and penmanship.

The overall goal of Why Is Different Awesome? Social Emotional Learning Program is to provide a foundation for building inclusive communities within schools and beyond.

Image Goals Of The Program

The social emotional development activities seek to achieve the following learning objectives:

  • Reinforce concepts of self-awareness, social awareness, self-acceptance, respect, and inclusivity.
  • Reinforce writing skills via integration into the existing Language Arts and writing program.
  • Encourage self-reflection and provide a way for learners to process their thoughts and opinions.
  • Incorporate learners' thoughts and opinions and allow them to guide the conversation.
  • Promote the importance of discussing social and emotional topics and offer a forum for learners to practice those skills.
  • Develop the learner’s knowledge gradually using real-life experiences through 14 weekly lessons of 45 minutes each.

Lesson Components

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Discussion

The teacher introduces learners to the concepts of the lesson and asks probing questions that engage learners and elicit answers. The questions are designed to encourage reflection and deep learning about the topic and the learners personal thoughts and experiences.

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Journaling

Journaling is an important part of the learning process. The process of writing down their thoughts helps learners retain the concepts and reflect upon their own views and feelings. Each learner will receive their own copy of the guided journal Why is Different Awesome? which they will use for the journaling portion of each lesson.

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Sharing

This is an opportunity for learners to share what they wrote in their journals with the class and the teacher. The topics covered in this program are thought-provoking and students will likely want to continue the conversation.

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