Good lesson plans have an almost mysterious power; they declare that all information can be interesting, that every skill acquired broadens our potentials to make a better world, and that all impassioned activity leads to learning. Our best teachers have shown us over and over that life is not a struggle against boredom and compliance; it is a wonder to be apprehended. Every bit of SEL you can integrate into your planning will not only begin to heal the wounds of passivity, racism, and inequity, but also give students an experience today, in your classroom, of that better world.
Jeffrey Benson draws from his 40-plus years of experience as a teacher and an administrator to provide explicit, step-by-step guidance on how to incorporate social and emotional learning (SEL) into K-12 lesson planning-without imposing a separate SEL curriculum.
The book identifies SEL skills in three broad categories: skills for self, interpersonal skills, and skills as a community member. It offers research-based strategies for seamlessly integrating these skills into every section of lesson plans, from introducing a topic in a way that sparks students' interest, to accessing prior knowledge, providing direct instruction, allowing time for experimentation and discovery, using formative assessment, and closing a lesson in a purposeful rather than haphazard manner.
In addition to practical advice on lesson planning that can lead to improved student motivation and achievement, Benson offers inspiration, urging both new and veteran teachers to seize every opportunity to develop caring, joyful communities of learners whose experiences and skills can contribute to a better, more equitable world both inside and outside the classroom.