SEL Lesson: Start the Year with Youth Voice
Students and teachers feel pressure to “cover the material,” which can push us to plunge right into the content of the class.
However, making time at the beginning of the semester to affirm that a class is a community (and not just a teacher and a group of students) will make you more effective at “covering the material” in the long run.
This lesson will help you show students that you value their voices. Activities are described in great detail so you know exactly what to do. But basically it is just three parts:
1. An opinion continuum to warm up the group;
2. Reading a true story by a teen about how she resolved a conflict with a peer;
3. A group activity in which students identify shared values and how to support them in the classroom
This SEL lesson is based on the true story “Fighting Words” by teen writer Margarita Martinez.