Integrating SEL into Your Curriculum : Practical Lesson Plans for Grades 3–5 book cover
1st Edition

Integrating SEL into Your Curriculum
Practical Lesson Plans for Grades 3–5

ISBN 9781138632066
Published November 27, 2017 by Routledge
220 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In this helpful new book, John Dacey, Gian Criscitiello, and Maureen Devlin show you how to seamlessly infuse social and emotional learning into your curriculum. With the growing emphasis on student assessment and learning outcomes, many teachers find they lack the time and the encouragement to begin implementing SEL techniques into their instruction. This book offers a solution in the form of practical lesson plans for grades 3–5 in ELA, math, social studies, and science—all of which can be implemented without tedious preparation and all of which are designed to boost creativity, cooperation, concentration, and critical thinking. Your students will learn how to…

  • Evaluate the costs and benefits of their decision-making;
  • Connect daily choices to an overarching sense of purpose;
  • Judge independently and pursue self-awareness;
  • Assess, harness, and transform emotions as a strategic resource;
  • Gain energy from personal values and commitments; and
  • Practice mindfulness and think positively.

Each chapter contains a number of reproducible tools that can be photocopied from the book or downloaded as eResources from the book product page at

Table of Contents



Meet the Authors


Chapter 1: Why You Will Want to Integrate SEL into Your Curriculum

Chapter 2: Be Authentic

Chapter 3: Practice Mindfulness

Chapter 4: Think Positively

Chapter 5: Be in Control

Chapter 6: Independent Thinking

Chapter 7: Be Resilient

Chapter 8: Cooperate and Compete Successfully

Chapter 9: Neither Be a Bully Nor Be Bullied

Chapter 10: Build Successful Friendships

Chapter 11: Demonstrate Leadership

Chapter 12: Think Creatively

Chapter 13: Think Critically and Wisely

Chapter 14: Help for Harried Teachers

Chapter 15: Multiple Means of Measuring Your Students’ SEL

Chapter 16: The Future of SEL


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John Dacey is Professor Emeritus of the Lynch School of Education at Boston College in Chestnut Hill.

Gian Criscitiello teaches mathematics to students with language-based learning differences at the Carroll School in Lincoln, MA.

Maureen Devlin is a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) and a practicing elementary school educator in Wayland, Massachusetts.


 "This book provides clear, easy-to-use social and emotional learning strategies that teachers can imbed in their daily instruction across all academic areas. These approaches will help teachers to engage students who will become more knowledgeable, reflective, and caring individuals and community members."

--Roger P. Weissberg, PhD, Chief Knowledge Officer, CASEL

"Considering that the mental health status of so many of today's middle schoolers and teens is poor, it is hard to imagine a time when social and emotional learning is more essential. The authors' method, with its emphasis on introducing SEL into elementary classrooms by embedding it into academic subjects, makes a lot of sense to me. This book provides teachers with relatively easy means of fostering SEL without having to pay a price in reduced academic achievement. I sincerely hope the world's teacher core will give this approach a try."

--Timothy Dugan, M.D. Senior Consultant in Education, Cambridge Health Alliance, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Assistant Clinical Professor, Harvard Medical School

"I am an ardent proponent of SEL, and infuse my academic lesson plans with SEL strategies where possible. I very much enjoyed being a consult for this book, and I recommend its readily usable approach whole-heartedly!"

--Lindsey Neves, North Attleboro, MA (USA) Public School System

"Many if not most of my fellow teachers would like to offer instruction in social and emotional learning (SEL), but pressures to prepare students for standardized tests of "facts and formulae" make this all but impossible. Therefore, the best way to introduce SEL into the curriculum, and probably the only way, is by embedding it into academic subject matter. In this book, Dacey and his teacher associates provide easy-to-follow strategies for doing this, which not only fosters SEL, but typically leads to improved academic performance."

--Nancy Alloway, career-long elementary teacher, recently retired                     

"Even the most casual observer must recognize that social and emotional skills are sorely lacking in much of our personal, organizational, and governmental interactions these days. What makes the situation especially egregious is that it doesn't have to be that way. Modern psycho-social science and spiritual inquiry have discovered many means for improving human interactions. We need to do a much better job of teaching these skills, especially in the world's schools. Therefore, I applaud the approach of this new book, and its innovative strategies for achieving this vital goal."

--Rev. John Hickey, Unitarian Universalist Minister