SEL Program Lesson Integration #6

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 #6: Intellectual Humility and Curiosity

When you’re curious about something, you process it deeply, rather than superficially. You also voluntarily spend more time learning about things that spark your curiosity. As a result, you more readily remember what you learn. In general, people who are more curious are happier and better liked.

Before you can teach your student about curiosity, they must first learn intellectual humility. Recognizing the limits to one’s knowledge and being comfortable not always knowing the answers to questions is key to becoming curious and seeking out new knowledge.

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.

When talking to your student(s) about what they’re grateful for and their interests, model intellectual humility and highlight when they’re talking about something you don’t know much about. Point out that it’s okay to not know things, and that if you think you know everything (or pretend to), you won’t get to learn about new and exciting things.

Beginning SEL Activity

Read this quote with your student(s):

“When we set out upon the search for truth we should not assume that we already know for certain what truth is.” – Mary MacLeod Bethune

Ask them what they think this quote means. Ask your student(s) if they can remember a time when they thought they knew everything about a topic, but when they looked into it, there was a lot more to learn or it was completely different than they thought. Share a similar story from your own life. If working with a group of students, facilitate a discussion about this.

During Your Session

Do any pre-prepared activity while reinforcing the ideas about intellectual humility and curiosity 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 fill out this Building Connections worksheet with your student to connect things that they’re curious about outside of school with things they’re learning in school.

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.