SEL (Social & Emotional Learning)

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a process for helping children and adults develop fundamental skills for life effectiveness. SEL teaches the skills we all need to handle ourselves, our relationships, and our work effectively and ethically. These skills include recognizing and managing our emotions, developing caring and concern for others, establishing positive relationships, making responsible decisions, and handling challenging situations constructively and ethically.

AISD is a recognized leader in urban education and one of the first districts in the nation to commit to the development of the whole child by incorporating social and emotional learning. During 2015-16, SEL reached all 129 schools serving all of the district's 86,000 students.

SEL reaches beyond the classroom to all aspects of life. Skills and concepts are integrated in academic lessons and practiced to enhance the climate of the school. Out of school time providers and parents reinforce SEL skills as well.

Below are the SEL Lessons

1st and 2nd weeks of school: Getting to know you activities: List 10 things others may not know about you, hold your papers outward and walk around the room and find people with commonalities. Find a partner, introduce yourself and share the best part of your summer, then have each partner introduce each other to the large group.  Write on a sticky note, your feelings about school so far and share.  Share an AHA, apology or appreciation moment that happened during the week.

Week of September 9th- CATCH Lesson- divide students into groups and give each group a topic on the checklist (attached) and have them come up with healthy ways to achieve the different goals.

Week of September 16th: Dangers of Vaping- have students watch the video "Juulers against Juuls" on Scholastic Action Magazine site. Then have them play the Kahoot:

No SEL Lesson 9/23- PAWS for Fun

No SEL Lesson 9/29- Homecoming Pep Rally

Oct. -Anti-bullying Month

No Place for Hate will be visiting classes during excel.  6th grade will be first on Oct. 7th.  Also, student council will be hosting elections.  

7th and 8th grade on 10/7 will show the video and then discuss the information sheet.  On Oct. 21st, 6th grade will do the same.  If elections take too long, then all grades will do this lesson on Oct. 21st, since the students do not have school on 10/14.


Link (Links to an external site.)


Oct. 28th- Red Ribbon Week:

Nov. 11th- Kindness Week

Next, watch this video on Kindness: (Links to an external site.)

This week is Kindness Week at Gorzycki. 

Each teacher/staffer will be given stacks of tickets to give out when they catch a student being kind.  Each day, from November 13- 15, there are specific kindness targets (see below) that will be announced/posted.  Each ticket can be used to enter drawing for prizes.  Drawing boxes will be placed in the front office, on the stage during lunch, and in the library. Students will fill in their name and student ID number, then place in the box for the prize they want a chance to win.  Drawings will be done the morning of World Kindness Day (November 13) and prizes delivered that day.


Kindness Targets

Day 1:  Show kindness to a stranger.

Day 2:  Show kindness to a teacher.

Day 3:  Be kind to your family.

Day 4: Be kind to yourself.

Day 5:  Show kindness to the environment.

Day 6:  Show kindness to someone in a different grade.

Day 7 WORLD KINDNESS DAY – Prize drawings

3. Discuss at your table examples of kindness

Nov. 18th: Gratitude

Watch the following 2 videos, then have students write 2 letters to people they are thankful for.  End with a discussion on what it means to be thankful. (Links to an external site.)

Kid President’s 25 Reasons To Be Thankful! (Links to an external site.)Kid President’s 25 Reasons To Be Thankful!


Dec. 2nd:

No Place for Hate will be rolling out their annual door-decorating contest.
Also, you can show this video on research on cell phones and the brain:)  Have a discussion or debate as to what your students think after watching the video.
Dec. 9th: Service Week!  Student Council kicked it off with classroom visits and this slide show presentation on Souper Bowl of Caring; service projects were also started.
January 13th- Social Action: What are you hungry for?  Impact of student's efforts to end hunger and start other social action movements.

Let students know how they assisted in ending hunger with the Souper Bowl of Caring can drive, by having them look up statistics of how many children are hungry in Texas and in Austin.

After discussing the statistics they found, go to this webpage: (Links to an external site.)

and show the video on the page explaining hunger in America.

Afterwards, show these two videos of true stories of how these students made an action for change.  Then discuss with students what they are hungry for. (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

January 27th- Holocaust Remembrance Week

Students had the option of reading the attached article or watching the narrated presentation on the link or opting out if necessary.


Feb. 3rd- Student Climate Survey, Gnasher News Survey and No Place for Hate presents pen pal activity.


Feb. 10th- No SEL (short week)

Feb. 17th- No SEL (short week)

Feb. 24th- Celebrating Black History Month with Jazz Music

The link will take you to a page that tells about Jazz music that you can read aloud to your students.  Next, watch the Youtube video featuring musician Michael Mayo and his master class taught by Jazz musician, Dianne Reeves. 
After the videos, ask the students if they could make any connections between Jazz music and the music they listen to today.  End with allowing them time to come up with their own "Jazz Scats" on any appropriate topics.

Monday, April 6th:

Create a game that you and your family can play, or if it is not possible for your family to play it, you can create an online game for you and your friends.  You must determine the theory or purpose for the game, the desired outcomes, the rules, and then present it to your family- something everyone can play (or to your friends online).  The game should be fun and inclusive of all age groups (ie: no violence).

If you think your game is awesome enough to share, take a video and/or give instructions and turn it in to your excel teacher!

Monday, April 13th:

First watch this video from the "Believe in You" series by Kevin Atlas and shared with us by Varsity Spirit.

A message to our students from Brand Ambassador Kevin Atlas (Links to an external site.)A message to our students from Brand Ambassador Kevin Atlas

Next, you are going to create a weekly schedule.  Routines are important in staying focused and motivated.  Think about what time you should get up to allow for an appropriate amount of sleep (the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 9-12 hrs).  Are you eating regular meals or healthy snacks every 3-4 hours?  What about exercise?  When do you have time to work on virtual learning opportunities?  Plan out your days and see what you come up with.  There are no right or wrong answers, but it is whatever works for you.  Remember, it is okay if you can only work on VLO's one day a week.  Only you can decide the activities that you have to get done and the ones you want to complete.  You can copy and paste your schedule into the text entry or upload a file from your google drive.


Monday, April 20th:

Change your focus to recall the positive this Monday for unexpected results. Savoring and focusing your thoughts on positive events is a way to shift to the positive and deflect stress.

Ways to Savor the Positive

  1. Enjoy the moment. Take a pause to appreciate the vibrancy of the here and now. If it helps, take a few deep breaths first. You don’t have to focus on any particular person or thing to feel goodness all around you. Take this moment to deeply experience your life on the spot!
  2. Put your feelers out. Be more attuned to noticing when something good or positive happens. It could even be a small thing, like someone holding the door open for you! Start to shift your perspective so your senses are sharpened to noticing more positive moments.
  3. Recall a Positive and Vivid Experience. When something good happens to you, take a mental image of it so you can recall it in the future, from the smallest moments like seeing a beautiful flower to a significant event in your life. Recall them when you need a mental boost or a shot of positivity. (
  4. Below, enter a text entry or upload a doc. of what you came up with; something you noticed or a positive experience you recalled.  You can even upload pictures if you choose.
Monday, April 27th:
Create your super-selves. What super-power qualities would you pick and why? What academic skills, physical skills or social/emotional skills, do you excel at?  You can submit this as a paragraph or as a drawing, labeling each area of your brain or body that makes you a "super you!"
Monday, May 4th: What is Gratitude?


  • What have you been given or what do you already have in your life that you are grateful for? 
  • Is there a gift behind the gift you are grateful for, like someone thinking or caring about you enough to give you the gift?


  • Why do you think you received this gift? 
  • Do you think you owe the giver something in return? 
  • Do you think you earned the gift because of something you did yourself? 
  • Do you think the gift was something the giver had to give you? 


  • Does it make you feel happy to get this gift? 
  • What does that feel like inside? 
  • What about the gift makes you feel happy? 


  • Is there a way you want to show how you feel about this gift? 
  • Does the feeling you have about this gift make you want to share that feeling by giving something to someone else? 
  • This week is National Hospital Week.  Is there a healthcare worker you are grateful for? What could you do/say to let them know?

Andrea Hussong, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

kindness, and connection, created by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley and HopeLab

Monday, May 11th- The Importance of Keeping a Promise



Watch the video, then brainstorm, what promises could I make and keep?  Would they be to do something for the greater good?  Would they be to family members or friends? Would you make one to yourself?  Write down what you come up with and make your own cards that state the promise and at the bottom add, "because I said I would."


Monday, May 18th- last SEL Lesson for the 2019-2020 School Year (My 2020 Quarantine Time Capsule)- see attached