Key takeaways

  • Social emotional skills are vital for High school students to develop for their personal, academic, and professional success.
  • By incorporating real-life scenarios, guest speakers, multimedia, peer-to-peer interaction, and games and activities, you can make your skills lessons even more engaging for your students.

As a high school student, social emotional learning (SEL) can sound intimidating and irrelevant - especially as the importance of academic grades for this age group is often stressed as a priority. However, learning social emotional skills is an essential part of personal and academic growth, and can even help High school students with their future career, academic, and personal goals. For example, teaching students social emotional skills can help them develop their relationships, manage their emotions, and make responsible decisions. Although research is showing that these are all highly sought-after skills in the workplace, convincing young learners that these are just as important as writing or mathematical abilities can be difficult. Educators therefore must aim to engage their older students in ways that may perhaps differ from those they would use with Elementary or Middle school students. Here are five easy ways to make social emotional learning more engaging for high school students.

Five Ways To Engage High School Students In Their Social Emotional Learning-1Use real-life scenarios

High school students often have a lot of energy and are always looking for new challenges. One way to make social emotional skills learning more engaging is to use real-life scenarios that show the impact of emotional intelligence. Students can learn how to navigate difficult situations and they can understand the consequences of their choices.

Bring in guest speakers

Guest speakers can help add perspective and diversity to life skills lessons. Students can learn from the personal experiences and insights of others who have gone through similar situations. This can help bring these lessons to life and show that emotional intelligence is not just theoretical but practical and highly useful.

Hear Coach Rudy discuss the importance of evidence-based social emotional learning

Use multimedia

High school students are native to digital technologies. Incorporating multimedia such as videos, images, and podcasts can significantly boost student engagement. Multimedia can help students understand complex concepts, which can be difficult to convey through traditional classroom teaching.

Encourage peer-to-peer interaction

Peer-to-peer interaction is an excellent way to make social emotional skills learning more engaging. When students work together in small groups, they can learn from each other and build stronger relationships. They can also share real-life experiences and help each other navigate challenging situations.

Use games and activities

Games and activities can make social emotional skills learning fun and interactive. Games such as role-playing and decision-making activities can help students practice their social emotional skills. They can learn how to manage their emotions, develop empathy and group skills. By using age/developmentally-appropriate games and activities, you can create a sense of playfulness and curiosity that will engage and motivate students to learn.

Try: our reading recommendations for high school students

Social emotional skills are essential for High school students. By incorporating real-life scenarios, guest speakers, multimedia, peer-to-peer interaction, and games and activities, you can make your skills lessons engaging and relevant to students. These five strategies can help ignite the emotional intelligence of your older students and prepare them to be responsible and successful individuals in their personal and academic lives.


Author: Ashley Shannon

Posted: 31 May 2023

Estimated time to read: 3 mins

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