As educators, we can teach sel curriculum in our classrooms to help students understand social-emotional concepts. You can use this kindness vocabulary activity to help students understand social concepts like kindness and bullying.
When we talk about character education in our classrooms, we usually think about teaching our young students how to share and how to take turns and how to be a friend.
Rarely does character education continue past early elementary school and often our students have not ever been taught character education as older students.
But we can change that. We can easily incorporate character education and sel curriculum in to our lesson plans.
We can set clear expectations by making kindness an expectation in our classrooms by using these 10 ways to teach SEL Curriculum.
We can challenge our kids to 100 Days of Kindness with this to keep kindness going for more than just a one time or a week long event.
But hanging up a poster and talking about kindness one time isn’t enough.
We need social emotional curriculum that specifically teaches our students the character education that our curriculum often lacks.
And this Kindness Dictionary is the perfect sel curriculum activity that can be used for 2nd-12th graders.
Why is teaching SEL Curriculum to students critical?
Students who do not feel safe in our classrooms and in our school will never be able to learn.
If they are being teased or bullied or isolated on the playground, they won’t feel confident to raise their hand, participate in class, and take a chance at being wrong.
Students don’t know how to deal with tricky social situations on the playground. They don’t know how to stand up for themselves or stand up to bullies. They don’t know how to deal with “mean girls” or how to include someone on the playground.
We have to teach them.
We hang Kindness posters up in our classrooms and hallways and maybe even have Kindness Week. But it’s not enough. We have to intentionally teach students how to be kind. How to not be a bully. How to stand up to bullies. How to be a good friend.
Sure, we could argue that these skills should be taught at home. But for so many students, these skills aren’t being taught at home. So if we don’t teach them, our students are missing a key component to learning: how to be a good person.
So as teachers, we can change this. We have the power to not only teach our students the state standards. We can also teach them how to speak and act with kindness more often. It’ll make our classrooms kinder places to be.
And it’ll make sure all of our students feel welcomed, included and safe so they come to school ready to learn those state standards.
How to use this Kindness Vocabulary Activity for SEL Curriculum
Use this Kindness dictionary as a vocabulary activity in classrooms and homeschool classrooms to help students understand the nuances of these social-emotional words.
This Kindness Dictionary has two versions for each word:
- blank vocabulary web/dictionary page to fill out
- filled in vocabulary web/dictionary page to add to or for teachers to use as a guide.
22 Words are included in the Interactive Notebook SEL Kindness Vocabulary Activity:
mindful of others
To use this Kindness Vocabulary Activity:
2. Introduce a word a week or a word each day to encourage students to understand these words.
Since we can’t talk about these concepts only once and have our students understand them, connect their learning to other activities by using activities that connect to each concept like these compassion cards, Trash or Kindness Activity, and how to be a good friend checklist.
And continue to talk about this sel curriculum often with these 60 Kindness Dicussion Starters and Bullying Prevention Discussion Starters, perfect for Morning Meetings or right before you dismiss students to lunch as a last minute reminder to be kind when there aren’t so many adults around.
3. Read books about these sel topics to really ensure your students’ understanding. Picture books aren’t just for our young students, especially when they tackle tough concepts.
Here are a few of our favorites:
3. Guide younger students to fill out the vocabulary page with you showing them how to fill out the vocabulary webs during a whole group instruction. You can use the filled-out version because often coming up with the definition of social emotional words on the spot in front of your students.
Students will then fill in the definition, the antonym, and the part of speech.
And they will draw a picture that shows the word, write it in a sentence using context clues, and write what they know about the word/concept.
4. If you have older students who have dictionary skills, (or use this activity to teach dictionary skills), encourage them to look up the word in a dictionary and fill out the vocabulary webs independently or during small group centers.
5. Connect the vocabulary activity to writing and encourage students to write out what they know about each sel word/concept. This vocabulary activity comes with two differnet writing sheets, one for lower elementary and one for older students.
6. When they’ve finished filling out each of the 22 vocabulary web dictionary pages, bind the pages of together so students have their own Kindness Dictionary they can read and take home to share with family.
And you can use these books to remind them of the definitions when they encounter tricky social situations in the future to build up their emotional intelligence and to create a kind space to learn for everyone.
Ready to purchase the Kindness Vocabulary Activity for SEL Curriculum?