SEL Program Lesson Integration #3

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 each session. Remind them that tutoring sessions are safe spaces and take some deep breaths if necessary. Ask your student(s) if they have been writing down things they are grateful for and, if so, if they would be willing to share some of those things. Share some things that you are grateful for.

Beginning SEL Activity

Read this quote with your student(s):

“Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.” – John Wooden

Ask them what they think the quote means. If working with a group of students, facilitate a discussion. Emphasize that you can always strive to make changes in your life but that doesn’t mean you can’t also be grateful for the things you already have.

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) make a “gratitude quilt” by having them:

  1. Fold any piece of paper in half four times
  2. Unfold the paper and trace the lines made by the folds
  3. Draw/cut out pictures from a magazine/write things they are grateful for in each square

At The End of Your Session

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