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Narratives to Teach SEL Skills

Want to inject some social and emotional skills into your classroom routines? Simple – have students share stories!

In a recent Edutopia article, author Marissa King suggests that stories can help build and sustain classroom culture, while also developing important SEL (social-emotional learning) skills in students.

King states that “Using shared narratives is an effective strategy to build positive classroom culture while introducing or reinforcing SEL skills. In addition, it requires minimal teacher prep and is easily customized to fit different kinds of subject matter.”

Building a canon of classroom stories is a great route to go in developing important SEL skills. Having students write narratives after they’ve had the opportunity to get important subject matter context is ideal. King further recommends, “Even a short writing assignment can add crucial stories of when a student successfully used an SEL skill in another area of his or her life.”

Reading SEL-related stories or novels also serves as an illustration of how to use SEL skills. Similar to improving academic skills, SEL skill development takes time to develop and requires regular opportunities to practice.

To read more of King’s article and to find out how to use narratives to build SEL skills in your students, read her Edutopia article here.

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Kristin Oropeza

Kristin Oropeza is currently a TK-5th Grade Technology TOSA in Southern California. She holds a masters in special education and has worked in public education for over 10 years. Kristin also serves as a director on the CUE Los Angeles board and acts as their Communications Editor. Find her on Twitter @KristinOropeza.

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