Unit 3: Evaluating the Social Emotional Model


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Unit 3: Evaluating the Social Emotional Model

Let’s take a deeper look at the learning model: How could it be used in the classroom? What sort of thoughts, concepts, and ideas can be brought up? How do I make sure that my students are getting the best possible Social Emotional Learning experience? As an educator, what do I have to do in the classroom? What should my students be doing during a Social Emotional activity? Dive right into the ocean of knowledge that waits for you in this unit!


  • You can assess the importance of Social Emotional Intelligence in the classroom with CASEL's guidelines.
  • You can evaluate the beneficial and challenging aspects of working with the SEL model through various articles and activities.

Lesson 1: Developing Social Emotional Intelligence

Part of implementing Social Emotional learning in the classroom requires being able to understand emotions. Teachers need to be able to respond to students' physical, verbal, and emotional reactions appropriately. This requires a certain level of intelligence, and that does not mean "book" smarts or "street" smarts... this requires "people" smarts.


As we discussed in our first unit, Intelligence is defined as the ability to acquire knowledge and skills. Throughout life, it is important that we consistently attend to developing both our knowledge and our skills. Furthermore, Social Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize interactions and feelings in other people and in diverse situations. Whether it be in the classroom or in society, it is important to be able to recognize emotions, and respond to them accordingly.

The Harvard Business Review recognizes the idea that Social Emotional Intelligence is necessary in the workforce. A college professor and writer for the Review illustrates this point with the questions: "For example, if you’ve been told you need to keep your temper under control, show more empathy for others, or be a better listener, what are the odds you can really do it? How do you know if your efforts will pay off, and which interventions will be most effective?" The article discusses five key points of Emotional Intelligence, or as referred to in the article as a high emotional quotient (EQ), which range from looking at the concept from a cognitive-behavioral perspective or progress-feedback perspective.

Above all, Social Emotional Intelligence can be illustrated through this wonderful TED video.

Learning Activity

In order to gain Emotional Intelligence, it is important to see things from different perspectives. Materials you will need: Paper and a Writing Utensil

Seeing Through Different Eyes adapted from the Ohio National Guard's Youth Emotional Intelligence Activities It is important to be aware of just how many different ways people can view situations. Read the following and think about how differently people can react to an event.

It is Thanksgiving Day. The power suddenly goes off.

  • Perspective 1: Lila is frustrated. She has been cooking all day and the turkey is only half done, the vegetables are still frozen, and her family will be arriving soon.
  • Perspective 2: John is furious. He was watching football, and his team was about to score a touchdown that would allow them to win the game.
  • Perspective 3: Tina is relieved. She was helping in the kitchen all day, and she is tired of "wasting" her day cooking. She wanted to get back to a book she was reading.
  • Perspective 4: Eddie is glad. He has not been able to play video games all day because of the football game. Now, no one is able to use the television.

The same event is seen through different eyes.

Pick one of the following events and write down how you would react from the perspective of a student and the perspective of a teacher:

  • A snowstorm hits the town, but the schools in the area do not close for the day.
  • The fire alarm goes off in the middle of a test.
  • Students are allowed to use their cellphones during class.

Topics in Social Emotional Learning

Are you wondering what sort of concepts you could use to teach Social Emotional learning?

Here are some suggestions from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning:

Photo credit: CASEL
  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Social Awareness
  • Relationship Skills
  • Responsible Decision-Making

Other Topics in Social Emotional learning could be found in this article.

Unit Assessment

Assess the Social Emotional learning model with this anonymous short-response quiz, here.

Where do I go from here?

Head on over to your next unit... Unit 4: Creating Social Emotional Activities in the Classroom

  • If you are looking for Social Emotional lesson plans for young children, which could be adapted to meet the needs of high school students, click here.
  • For ideas about Social Emotional lesson plans from a social bookmarking site, look here.