The BEST Social-Emotional Curriculum for Elementary Kids

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Inside: Find an evidence-based social-emotional curriculum that works with elementary students and makes planning easy!

Are you on a quest to equip your elementary-aged children or students with a rock-solid, evidence-based foundation in social-emotional learning (SEL)?

Do you find yourself, as a dedicated parent or educator, wracking your brain for the perfect tools to nurture the essential social awareness skills your young ones deserve?

We’re delving into the world of SEL, where we tackle crucial SEL skills such as:

  • building positive relationships with peers and learning how to be a good friend
  • helping kids with conflict resolution
  • creating a safe space for children in your home or classroom
  • helping with impulse control
  • appropriately greeting others
  • kid’s big emotional needs and how to handle them
social emotional learning curriculum for kids

If you’ve been on this quest, your journey is about to take an exciting turn!

Allow us to introduce you to our groundbreaking and brand-new HeartSmart Social-Emotional Curriculum—a guaranteed game-changer for your SEL instruction, whether you’re at home or in the classroom.

Get ready to embark on a transformative journey! 💫

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Because we all want our kids to be happy and healthy — not just for right now, but for the rest of their lives.

Bring Social Awareness to Your Elementary Students or Kids

There are many different perspectives on how to help our kids become all-star team players in the game of life.

One approach that’s a total winner is called “SEL” or Social and Emotional Learning.

It’s like giving kids a secret toolkit that brings social awareness to children in early childhood and helps them nurture feelings and understand different perspectives.

Through age-appropriate activities, discussions, and role-playing exercises, students can learn to recognize and appreciate the feelings and experiences of others. 

Moreover, incorporating books and stories that highlight various cultures and experiences can foster a sense of inclusivity and promote social harmony as well.

By prioritizing social awareness in the classroom and at home, parents and educators can lay a strong foundation for elementary-aged children to become empathetic, culturally sensitive, and socially responsible individuals in the future.

Create a Positive Learning Environment through Social-Emotional Learning Activities

In the field of social-emotional learning, let’s chat about a crucial piece of the puzzle: building positive relationships with our elementary school students.

It all begins with creating a positive learning environment, a bit like making sure your shoes are tied before a long walk. We’re doing this so kids can develop the decision-making skills necessary for emotional development.

Have you ever considered incorporating “morning meetings” into your classroom routine?

Having a morning meeting in your classroom is like starting the day with a warm and friendly “hello!” It fosters a sense of connection and value among everyone involved.

These meetings work like a charm. They bring everyone together, making each student feel valued and part of the team. It’s a chance to share, listen, and get to know one another, which helps trust and friendships take root.

Plus, it sets the stage for a day of effective and enjoyable learning. This is just one piece of the puzzle in the HeartSmart Curriculum, where you can explore SO many ways to help kids grow. 

Get an Entire Year of SEL Lesson Plans with the HeartSmart Curriculum:

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a beautiful gift for your child. Researchers tell us that it’s a greater indicator of future success in children than their IQ alone.

And what’s even greater is that research also tells us that unlike IQ, which is a fixed number that doesn’t change over time, it’s possible to increase one’s EQ score!

Our year-long HeartSmart SEL lessons were created because we know that social-emotional learning is the most important set of skills we can learn that will help our kids throughout their lives.​​

We’ve cherry-picked the crème de la crème of lessons based on the CASEL framework, covering Self Awareness, Self-management, Responsibility, Social Skills, and Relationships.

This comprehensive SEL curriculum is your golden ticket to a year-long treasure trove of elementary SEL activities, suitable for both students and little ones at home.

We want every child to have this opportunity, so we built a program that…

  1. helps kids build a strong emotional vocabulary
  2. shows kids how to build a plan of action for when big emotions strikes
  3. keeps kids feeling positive and confident
Heartsmart Curriculum bundle set.


HeartSmart Social-Emotional Learning

Our HeartSmart social-emotional learning curriculum bundle equips you with all the tools you need to transform learning into a positive, engaging experience. We’ve got everything from games to posters, worksheets to craft coloring pages!

Let’s delve deeper into each of these six amazing modules now!

SEL curriculum for kids

Unit 1: Emotional Intelligence & Emotional Competencies

Do you know what’s super important for success in school and in life?

It’s not just reading or math – it’s also how you manage your emotions and relationships with others!

This first unit about emotions will last five weeks or longer (depending on how you want to stretch it out). 

social-emotional learning activities

By the end of the unit, students should be able to complete the following skills:

  • Label eight major emotions and practice naming them (and recognizing how they feel in the body).
  • Draw facial expressions and begin to associate feelings with situations.
  • Use fun weather analogies and exercises to tune into their bodies.
  • Reinforce how emotions feel in our bodies and how to express feelings appropriately using I-statements.
  • Understand the zones of regulation and begin to learn how to recognize how each zone feels (and, more importantly, when to use a calming strategy).

Unit 2: Teaching Kids to Have a Growth Mindset

Another huge part of SEL lessons is teaching kids to have a growth mindset.

Now, you might be thinking, “What’s a growth mindset, anyway?”

Well, a growth mindset means thinking you can improve things with practice.

It’s like knowing you can get stronger when going to the gym, but a growth mindset is all about making your brain stronger!

So, what’s on the menu for Unit 2’s buffet of growth mindset lessons?

emotional development through growth mindset

Get ready for a four-week feast of daily social-emotional skills that’ll leave you feeling more positive and capable than ever:

  1. Become growth mindset gurus, knowing the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset and realizing how the latter can pave the way to big success in school and life.
  2. Learn the art of flipping those gloomy thoughts into sunny ones, promoting positive self-talk, and boosting self-esteem like a pro.
  3. Uncover their own special strengths and understand why they’re like secret weapons for achieving goals and building self-esteem.
  4. Get a handle on the truth about honesty and show it off in different situations. They’ll also become pros at sizing up problems and choosing just the right emotional and behavioral reactions.

Unit 3: Student Self-Management

Self-management is like being the boss of your feelings and actions.

It’s all about knowing how to handle different situations and emotions – whether you’re feeling mad, sad, or bursting with excitement. It’s like having a handy toolbox for handling all kinds of situations in an appropriate way.

Imagine using self-management skills to recognize when you’re cruising in the “yellow zone” (our FREE feelings thermometer can be a handy sidekick for this).


When that yellow light flickers, it’s your cue to take a brain break or visit your calm-down corner.

By the end of this five-week unit, kids will be able to:

  • Identify and practice coping skills to help them manage their emotions and handle difficult feelings.
  • Practice simple stress management and relaxation techniques to help cope with feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Practice strategies to help them control their impulses and make thoughtful decisions.
  • Set S.M.A.R.T. goals for themselves and practice basic organization and planning skills to help them complete tasks and manage their time effectively.

Unit 4: Responsibility In Elementary Aged Kids

Teaching elementary school kids responsible decision-making can be a bit like guiding explorers through uncharted territory.


Because they’re still figuring out the whole cause-and-effect gig.

Sometimes, they do not grasp the consequences of their actions.

And you know what?

Their attention spans and impulse control are like young sprouts in a garden, still growing and finding their roots.

This can make it a tad tricky for them to remember their responsibilities and stick with them.

Plus, they are often leaning on the adults around them for support. So, taking full responsibility for certain tasks can feel like navigating a foreign land – a bit overwhelming or unfamiliar.

responsiblity sel lessons

This 4-week unit in the HeartSmart Curriculum will help elementary students to:

  • Understand what responsibility means and when it is needed. They will also be able to show responsible behavior in different places.
  • Recognize bullying and know what it is. They will learn about the different types of bullying and how to respond to and prevent it from happening.
  • Identify problems and come up with solutions using their thinking skills and creativity.
  • Make choices that promote good health and well-being for their bodies and feelings.

Want to help your child gain some responsibility at home?

Check out our FREE CHORE CHART to help your kids develop the important life skills they need around the house.

Unit 5: Helping Elementary Students with Social Skills

Social Skills are like the secret language of how we talk and connect with each other.

And I’m sure you are aware that not every kid is a born natural in the social skills department.

But the silver lining is this:

We’ve got plenty of tricks up our sleeves to help kids ace the art of social skills. It’s all about practice, teaching, and setting a stellar example. 

There are 5 Components of Social Skills:

  • Basic Communication Skills
  • Empathy and Rapport
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Problem-Solving Skills
  • Accountability
  • Get ready for five weeks of daily super-duper fun adventures in the Social Skills Unit of the curriculum! It’s all about learning cool life skills in a playful way. 
sel activities for elementary students

By the end of this unit, kids will be able to:

  • Read social cues and learn how to understand people’s expressions and body language.
  • Understand the power of respect! We’ll explore how to treat others kindly and show them we care.
  • Join the empathy train and hop into someone else’s shoes. We’ll learn how to understand their feelings and be super caring. Choo-choo!
  • See things from other’s perspectives! We’ll explore different points of view and understand how others think. It’s like wearing special glasses!
  • Learn how to spread acts of kindness and be thankful for the wonderful things around us.

Unit 6: Relationship Skills

Educating elementary youngsters in relationship skills is a big deal because it paves the way for smoother interactions.

Think of it as equipping them with a trusty toolbox for forging friendships, tackling challenges, and being fantastic team players.

And you know what’s the cherry on top?

These skills are like the keys to a happier, more relaxed time in school and anywhere else they hang out with folks.

relationship sel lessons

After five weeks of teaching this final unit, kids will know how to:

  • Become friendship experts, knowing why friends rock and how to be a friend superstar!
  • Master the art of communication, actively listen, and use appropriate language and behaviors in group settings.
  • Unleash their apology superpowers, knowing when to say sorry and how to make it count with amazing language and gestures.
  • Unlock the secret teamwork treasure, discovering the incredible benefits of working together and honing their teamwork skills.
  • Become conflict resolution champions: Equip your kid with clever strategies to conquer conflicts, becoming the ultimate peacemaker in their peer universe.

HeartSmart Complete Social Emotional Learning Curriculum: Final Thoughts

These sel competencies discussed above can be complex concepts for a young child, so we make learning these skills super fun with games, coloring pages, thought-provoking worksheets, discussions, engaging activities, and more within the HeartSmart Curriculum.

If you are an educator and need some professional learning resources, you’ve just got to get this HeartSmart Curriculum.

This program will help guide teachers and related elementary staff with character education ideas, relationship skills, a classroom community, and the proper tools for teaching students the social-emotional skills that they may be lacking.

If you are a parent, the HeartSmart Curriculum is the emotional learning program you have been waiting for to help your child with all of the social-emotional learning skills you just aren’t quite sure how to teach.

We would absolutely love to hear your feedback on it below!

social emotional learning for elementary

Gain access to our library of free printables!

Because we all want our kids to be happy and healthy — not just for right now, but for the rest of their lives.

Resources You’ll Love

Our shop is filled with printable resources to help you calm the chaos and assist your amazing little humans to believe in the amazing little humans they are!

Spring SEL Resources

Now Available on TPT

Splash into spring with these spring-themed social-emotional learning activities

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