4 Essential SEL Lessons Made Easy

4 Instant Social Emotional Learning Lessons

Teach essential social emotional learning lessons-- without the stress-- with these four ready-made lesson plans, including free presentations and worksheets.

Instant SEL Lessons- Ready to Teach

Teaching these four key pillars of social emotional learning just got a lot easier. Download-and-go with these 4 essential social emotional learning lessons for elementary students on Responsibility, Respect, Honesty, and Empathy. Each SEL lesson includes a presentation, worksheet, lesson plan, and links to more related teaching resources. And the best part, they are completely free for use in classrooms or homeschools.

SEL Lessons That Kids Can Relate To

Talking with Trees social emotional learning lessons help elementary students fully engage with SEL topics by using examples from children's real experiences. These presentations and worksheets go beyond surface-level concepts to the important essense of social emotional learning, helping kids understand no only what SEL is, but why it matters in their real lives. So what are you waiting for? Make SEL teaching fun and easy with these 4 free SEL lessons.

Lesson 1: What is Responsibility?

Connecting Actions and Consequences

This social emotional learning lesson guides children to connect how their action (or inaction) leads to positive or negative consequences. The lesson includes

  • what is responsibility
  • examples of responsibility like being responsible with chores, taking care of possessions, being home on time
  • how not being responsible has a real impact on children's lives and the lives of those around them.
Finally, the SEL lesson helps children learn why being responsible is important for all of us in society.

SEL Lesson and Resources

The lesson features a PowerPoint and Google Slides presentation, the What is Responsibility Worksheet, and of course, a lesson plan. You can also find a number of other SEL teaching resources, including posters, videos and more in our Responsibility Teaching Resources page.

SEL Lesson on Responsibility
Elementary Social Emotional Learning Lesson on Responsibility

Lesson 2: What is Respect?

How Actions Impact People, Places, Things

This social emotional learning lesson teaches children that showing respect is about caring how your actions and words can have an impact on other people, places, and things. The lesson explores examples around

  • considering others' needs and feelings
  • not intentionally or carelessly causing harm
  • disagreeing with kindness
  • how to know if an action is respectful
  • the lesson touches on what the world would look like if we didn't all agree to show consideration and care for the people and spaces around us

Respect Teaching Resources

The lesson features a PowerPoint and Google Slides presentation, the What is Respect Worksheet, and of course, a lesson plan. You can also find a number of other SEL teaching resources, including posters, videos and more in our Respect Teaching Resources page.

SEL Lesson on Respect

Lesson 3: What is Empathy?

Understanding Others' Perspectives and Feelings

This social emotional learning lesson explains what empathy is and how it helps us understand other people's perspectives. The lesson covers

  • what is empathy
  • why empathy is important
  • how to build empathy
  • practice at identifying or predicting how other people are feeling using images from the Talking with Trees Social Emotional Learning books

Empathy Teaching Resources

The lesson features a PowerPoint and Google Slides presentation, options for several empathy worksheets, and of course, a lesson plan. You can also find a number of other SEL teaching resources, including posters, videos and more in our Empathy Teaching Resources page.

SEL Lesson on Empathy

Lesson 4: What is Honesty?

Being Truthful in Words and Actions

In this social emotional learning lesson, children learn that being honest is more than just "not lying." The honesty lesson shows

  • what honesty means in words and actions
  • ways to be honest, including telling the whole truth, not hiding the truth, acting truthfully
  • why honesty is important to society and to building trust with parents and teachers

Honesty Teaching Resources

The lesson features a PowerPoint and Google Slides presentation, the What is Honesty Worksheet, and of course, a lesson plan. You can also find a number of other SEL teaching resources, including posters, videos and more in our Honesty Teaching Resources page.

SEL Lesson on Honesty

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 to teach good character traits and social emotional skills like honesty, respect, responsibility, and kindness. More than 100,000 of her good values resources are downloaded each year by parents and teachers around the world. Rooted in Decency, Colleen’s first book for an adult audience, considers why America’s divisive culture is damaging common decency, and how society can get to a shared set of values that promotes cooperation and trust. Learn more at ColleenDoyleBryant.com