Blog · Mar 03, 2015
Interactive activities are an integral part of social emotional learning. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) states that “learning is an intrinsically social and interactive process: it takes place in collaboration with one’s teachers, in the company of one’s peers, and with the support of one’s family.” Active and participatory lessons encourage children to learn social emotional skills firsthand. For the most effective social emotional skill development, it helps if activities are not limited to school but are also extended into family and community.
Children who are socially and emotionally competent are skilled in five core areas: self-awareness, responsible decision-making, emotion management, social awareness, and healthy relationship building. By developing these skills through engaging activities, children are better equipped to stay on track to their goals, face potential challenges, and resist negative peer influence to engage in risky behaviors.
What types of activities can be incorporated into lessons to develop social emotional skills? Cooperative learning designs that promote bonding—such as games, role-plays, and skits—are a great way to reinforce what students have learned. Through hands-on experience, students can practice these essential skills. Interactive games promote teamwork, giving students the opportunity to work on group decision-making, develop relationship skills, and resolve conflict peacefully. Real life scenarios enacted through role-plays and skits give students the opportunity to apply the skills they have learned, deepening their understanding of self and others.
Interactive social and emotional learning helps children internalize the skills they will carry with them through life; they will in turn develop strong character that will give them the resiliency they need to live happy and healthy lives.