Valentine’s Day creates a lot of excitement for students, and of course, there are plenty of teachable moments around the day. You might cover the history of the holiday, do some Valentine’s Day–themed math, or work on a fun, heart-shaped art project. The opportunities are endless. But Valentine’s Day is also a great time to talk with your kids about compassion and caring.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) has been one of the George Lucas Educational Foundation’s primary strategies for learning since its inception. And in honor of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to pass along some valuable SEL resources from around the web. The good news is that if you’re running short on time this month, these lesson plans, tips, and toolkits can be used throughout the year, and they provide inspiring context for students, parents, and teachers. We’ll start with a quick animated video that answers the question: What’s the difference between empathy and sympathy?
Additional SEL Resources from Edutopia
Edutopia has featured some great blogs covering SEL over the years, and below are a few recent posts. But first, check out this nine-part series from Randy Taran on the Project Happiness Curriculum: Activities to Build Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students.
- 8 Pathways to Every Student’s Success, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell (2015)
- New Class Roles: Building Environments of Cooperation, by Lori Desautels (2014)
- Why Teaching Kindness Is Essential to Reduce Bullying, by Lisa Currie (2014)
- How to Bring Listening Circles to Your Class, by Shane Safir (2014)
- How Reading Literature Cultivates Empathy, by Elena Aguilar (2014)
- Five-Minute Film Festival: Videos on Kindness, Empathy, and Connection, by Amy Erin Borovoy (2013)
- Empathy: The Most Important Back-to-School Supply, by Homa Tavangar (2013)
- Empowering Students Through Empathy and Collaboration, by Jose Vilson (2013)
- Teaching Students to Turn Empathy Into Action, by Maurice Elias (2011)