SEL Program Lesson Integration #8

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.


Students with a growth mindset understand that they can get smarter through hard work, the use of effective strategies, and help from others when needed. This contrasts with a fixed mindset: the belief that intelligence is a fixed trait that is set in stone at birth.

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.

For students in fourth grade or above, read over the chart below and discuss with your student(s). For students in third grade or below, read and discuss The Power of Yet comic below. If working with a group of students, facilitate a discussion about the chart or the comic.

This chart illustrates the differences between the two mindsets.
Super Yet has a growth mindset!

Beginning SEL Activity

Read this quote with your student(s):

“The problem human beings face is not that we aim too high and fail, but that we aim too low and succeed.” – Michelangelo

Discuss what they think this quote means. Explain that being successful is great, but if you’re always successful and you never mistakes, you’re probably not challenging yourself enough or learning new things.

During Your Session

Do any pre-prepared activity while reinforcing the ideas about growth mindset you’ve been discussing, if possible. Continue practicing the breathing and self-regulation techniques learned in the first integration when opportunities arise. Alternatively, if you have internet access or a smartphone, you can watch videos and read about growth mindset using these helpful activities through Khan Academy.

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.