SEL Program Lesson Integration #2

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.


Gratitude is good for your psychological well-being, your relationships, and possibly even your physical health. The practice of being grateful can potentially help your student(s) live a happier and more productive life.

Always check in with your student(s) at the beginning of the session and ask how they are feeling. Continue to practice taking deep breaths with them.

Ask your student(s) if they know what gratitude is and what it means to be grateful. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful: readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Tell your student(s) that from now on, you’re going to start your sessions by talking about things you have both been grateful for during the past week. Tell them that every day you would like them to write down at least one thing that they’re grateful for. If your student(s) has a smartphone, there are many apps they can use to do this. We recommend the Gratitude App. They can also write in a special journal or notebook.

Beginning SEL Activity

Read this quote with your student(s):

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

Ask them what they think the quote means. Discuss why it feels good to be grateful and how being grateful for what you have might make you happier.

During Your Session

Do any pre-prepared activity while reinforcing the ideas about gratitude 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 have your student(s) write a gratitude letter as is detailed here. 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. For younger students, drawing a picture for someone you are grateful for is a good alternative.

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.