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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Once Upon a Conflict...

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Hi Everyone! Posts on the forum got me to thinking about the many ways stories can be use to teach SEL concepts. Here are some ideas I can share, won't you please contribute your own suggestions? I've always used read-aloud picture books as a component of SEL lessons at all levels. I frequently stop to ask students how they think a character might be feeling, or request ideas for ways a character might resolve conflict. Even older students get a kick out of some of the picture books which are written from a humorous angle (Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber, The Great White Man-Eating Shark by Margaret Mahy, The Sneetches and other tales by Dr. Seuss). Role-playing can work with both students and parents. At the younger ages, puppets can act as a brdige to role-playing. Folkmanis makes the most wonderful child-friendly puppets I've used. Conflict is at the heart of every story, so writing and rewriting stories allows students to explore the problem solving process from a character's point of view. Fracturing fairy tales gives students the opportunity to consider all the solutions the main character tried, and brainstorm other ideas which might have solved the problem. Asking themselves questions like "What might happen if my character does this?" allows students to practice the sort of consequential thinking which is a cornerstone of SE health. Finally, inviting students to relate a story we have shared to something significant in their own lives gives them an opportunity to tell a story that really matters to them. At first I have to prompt students to include specific feeling words in their stories, but as they get used to sharing this way, they often spontaneously share how an incident felt to them. How do you incorporate stories and storytelling into your SEL lessons? Do you have any dependable resources you can share? Thank you in advance for participating! Mary Kate

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