SEL Program Lesson Integration #10

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.


Grit is a distinct combination of passion, resilience, determination, and focus. It allows a person to maintain the discipline and optimism to continue to work toward their goals, even in the face of discomfort, rejection, or a lack of visible progress. Grit is an essential part of learning, and helping your student(s) recognize and develop grit will likely help them achieve more of their goals.

Always check in with your student(s) at the beginning of each session. Remind them that tutoring sessions are safe spaces and take some deep breaths if necessary. Ask your student(s) if they would be willing to share some things that they were grateful for during the past week. Share some things that you are grateful for.

Ask your student(s) what their favorite hobbies are. Try to prompt them to give you ones that aren’t passive, for example, dancing, drawing, playing sports, or gaming (rather than watching YouTube or listening to music). Point out how it takes grit and perseverance to get better at something, and ask them if that’s how they get better at their hobbies. Talk about a hobby of yours and how you use grit to get better at it.

Beginning SEL Activity

Read this quote with your student(s):

“At various points, in big ways and small, we get knocked down. If we stay down, grit loses. If we get up, grit prevails.” – Angela Duckworth

Discuss what the quote means with your student(s). Ask them to talk about a time they were “knocked down” and “got back up”. Share your own example. For older students, you can talk about how this is a metaphor. Ask them for a situation where this could be taken literally.

During Your Session

Do any pre-prepared activity while reinforcing the ideas about grit you’ve been discussing, if possible. Continue practicing the breathing and self-regulation techniques learned in the first integration when opportunities arise. Alternatively, you can do this writing activity about grit from Character Lab. You can also adjust this activity and make it a drawing activity (especially for younger students who are still learning to write).

At The End of Your Session

Review everything you talked about and did during the session. Encourage your student(s) to practice breathing, gratitude, and empathy in their daily lives. Confirm the day and time of the next session and wish your student(s) well.