3 Great SEL Videos for Kids

3 Free Social Emotional Learning SEL Videos for Elementary Students

Videos are a great way to help children fully engage with social emotional learning because they show children emotions as they happen in social situations. These three great SEL videos from the Talking with Trees book series help elementary school-aged children connect with other kiddos who are facing the same types of challenges they do. And the videos help children feel emotions along with the characters, which helps them truly understand why social emotional skills are important.

Core Social Emotional Learning Lessons

At the core of all SEL lessons are a few key values: empathy, respect, responsibility, and honesty. But how do you explain social skills to a child?? These three social emotional learning videos for elementary aged students use stories about kids just like yours, who are learning from their mistakes. When the children find themselves in difficult social emotional situations, a wise old tree steps in to offer kind guidance about how they can handle the situation with good social skills and character. These free SEL videos bring to life topics like having empathy, treating others with respect, acting with responsibility, and being honest and trustworthy.

Keeping It Real

Ok, so talking trees might not be real, but the situations the children in these videos find themselves in will be completely relatable to your kiddos. Help children learn about life by seeing that other people are struggling with the same lessons they are. The talking trees help children understand their own motivations and guide them in how to choose to do the right thing for the right reason. Tall order? Sure. But these trees are pretty amazing.

Video 1: What if?

A story about thinking before you act

Learning to control your impulses and self-manage is a critical social emotional lesson for kids. In this video, two siblings keep finding themselves at risk of hurting themselves or hurting someone else with hasty actions and unkind words. Our loving Mulberry Tree helps the kids learn the essential SEL lesson to think BEFORE you act. She plants the seed to ask "What if?" and to consider how actions cause consequences. The children learn valuable social emotional lessons about having empathy, acting with responsibility, and taking care of your own safety and well being.

Extend the SEL video lesson with free teaching resources

Follow up with a "What if Seed" Activity, "What is Responsibility" Worksheet, or choose from a big collection of social emotional learning resources that work with this SEL Video.

Free Teaching Resources

Video 2: Be Proud

Story about making choices you can be proud of

This social emotional learning video weaves together a number of critical social emotional lessons including teachings on honesty, conscience, forgiveness, and growth mindset. A boy sneaks off with his game player even though mom told him not to. A wise old Oak Tree helps him realize that what he's doing is dishonest, even if he doesn't get caught. He learns the essential SEL lesson that your body and your mind give you signals to help you know whether an action is right or wrong. The boy learns, "Oh no! I have a conscience!" and he learns that it can help him make better choices. Along the way, the boy also learns how to forgive himself for his mistake and to grow from the experience- to choose actions he can be proud of (which leads to better self esteem, incidentally.)

Free supporting SEL teaching resources

Find some helpful supporting teaching materials like a "What is Honesty" Worksheet, "Listen to your Conscience" Poster, or coloring pages, lesson plans, quotes and more resources to take this SEL Video further.

Free Teaching Resources

Video 3: Be Bigger

Treating others with respect, even when feelings are hurt

This story teaches a classic social emotional lesson about treating our friends with respect and kindness, even when we're upset. When a girl feels left out, she thinks about being mean to her friend to show that she feels hurt. But this Elm Tree has seen this all before and helps the girl realize that even though her heart hurts, being unkind to her friend won't make her feel any better. The girl learns the real way to mend her hurt is to to the right thing and talk to her friend, instead of taking the easy way out. In the end, the girl grows through valuable lessons about perseverance, respect, and self-awareness.

Free supporting SEL teaching resources

Try a "Being a True Friend" worksheet, a "Be Bigger than Hurt Feelings" poster or a number of teaching resources to get the most from this SEL video.

Free Teaching Resources

More Social Emotional Learning Videos

Best of the Web Collection

Don't see quite what you're looking for? Browse our Best of the Web collection of social emotional learning videos. We scoured hours of videos about self management, caring, relationships, respect, trustworthiness and more to create a collection of lively, high quality videos about social emotional learning topics. Find SEL videos or browse our full collection of Social Skills Teaching Resources.

Best of the Web Social Skills Videos
Best social emotional learning videos

Colleen Doyle Bryant

Colleen Doyle Bryant is the author of five books and more than 50 learning resources about making good choices for the right reasons. Her Talking with Trees series for elementary students and Truth Be Told Quotes series for teens are used in curricula around the world. Rooted in Decency, Colleen’s most recent release, written for an adult audience, explores how the decline in common decency is affecting wellbeing, and how we can build more trust and cooperation. Learn more at ColleenDoyleBryant.com