SEL Program Lesson Integration #1


This “lesson integration” is a framework for integrating a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) concept into one of your tutoring sessions. It describes the concept you will be integrating into your lesson and gives you a loose structure to follow. Make sure to read through the entire lesson integration prior to your session so you are familiar with the SEL concept you will be focusing on.

Don’t forget to use the D.N.A. method whenever you want to address your student’s behavior!

Download the below lesson integration as a printable PDF. Please note, if you choose to do the optional activity there may additional PDFs you will need to print and download.

During this session and all future sessions, continue to remind your student(s) that they are safe, and that they are the only ones in control of their emotions.

Use the DNA Method and
focus on the positive when addressing misbehavior.

DESCRIBE behavior calmly and without judgment.

For younger students: “your face looks like this (mirror expression).” For older students: “you pulled your hoodie over your face.”

Wait for eye contact. Take deep breaths together (if you start, hopefully they’ll join).

NOTICE and model empathy.

“You seem ________.”

ACKNOWLEDGE and problem solve.

“You wanted _____.” or “You were hoping _____.” Followed by “your choices are _____ or _____.” Both choices should be ones you can live with.

LESSON INTEGRATION #1: A Safe Space and Emotions

Children learn best when they feel safe and connected to a positive adult. This lesson integration will help you establish a space where students feel safe to speak their mind, explore their emotions, and make mistakes. Moving forward, this should be integrated into all sessions with your student(s).

Tip: always check in with your student(s) at the beginning of the session and ask how they are feeling.

Talk to your student about how your tutoring sessions are going to be safe spaces where they are free to be themselves, express their opinions, and make mistakes without fear of being punished or making you mad. Let them know that when either of you feel unsafe or are getting very emotional, you are going to take deep breaths until you can identify what you’re feeling and start to change it.

Practice taking deep breaths with your student.

Beginning SEL Activity

Read this quote with your student(s):

“When you react, you let others control you. When you respond, you are in control.” – Bohdi Sanders

Ask them what they think the quote means. Discuss how they are in control of their own emotions. Other people can’t “make” them mad, sad, or anything else. Other people can trigger them to feel certain ways but they control whether to feel that way or not. It isn’t easy to change the way you feel when you are “triggered” but with practice, it gets easier. Taking deep breaths will help with this. If tutoring a group of students, facilitate a discussion about this.

During Your Session

Do any pre-prepared activity while reinforcing the things you talked about above. Alternatively, you can help teach self-control and set goals with your student(s) using this WOOP activity. You’ll have to adjust the activity depending on the age of your student and whether you’re tutoring one-on-one or in a group.

At The End of Your Session

Review everything you talked about and did during the session. Encourage your student(s) to practice breathing when they’re getting upset outside of your sessions too. Confirm the day and time of the next session and wish your student(s) well.