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SEL Lessons That Address Racism, Stereotypes, and Prejudice

Posted by PATHS Program LLC on Oct 2, 2020 1:45:11 PM

Social Emotional Learning offers teachers the flexibility to teach to the moment. The pandemic, remote learning, current events, and other topics in the news may bring up emotions that SEL can help process. Racism, stereotypes, and prejudice are frequently in the news and may come up in classroom conversations. These topics are broadly covered under the “social awareness” competency by CASEL. This domain also includes topics such as perspective-taking, empathy, appreciating diversity, and having respect for others.

Portrait of smiling little school kids in school corridor-1PATHS Program LLC offers a number of resources that teachers can use to address issues of racism, stereotypes, and prejudice. There are explicit emotions lessons, which teachers can use to help students work through their feelings associated with current events attached to these complex issues, as well as explicit lessons in each of the topics as indicated below.

Teachers are encouraged to use the flexibility built into both the PATHS® and Emozi™ programs to use current events as teachable moments. The PATHS® program Introduction to the Curriculum addresses this on page 17:

"For example, if an event occurs in your classroom, school or community that elicits a strong emotional response in your students, but that feeling is not formally introduced until later in the curriculum, consider teaching the relevant lesson earlier. The ‘teachable moment’ will go a long way to facilitate children’s understanding.”

The biographies and novel studies (in grades 4 and 5 of PATHS®) and Socratic Seminars (for grades 6-8 of Emozi™), explore many themes related to current topics.

As always, educators know their students best and will know how to address these issues in the classroom in a way that is developmentally appropriate and meaningful. Our hope is to give them the tools to do so.

Age appropriate lessons can be found in the following grades.

Grades PK/K

  • Emotions Lessons: Sad (L7), Mad or Angry (L10), Scared or Afraid (L11), Frustrated (L32), Worried (L35), Disappointed (L36), Furious (L38)

Grade 1

  • Emotions Lessons: Scared or Afraid (L17), Safe (L17), Mad or Angry (L19), Worried (L20), Frustrated (L35), Disappointed (L36), Hate (L45)

Grade 2

  • Emotions Lessons: Scared or Afraid (L13), Safe (L13), Mad or Angry (L14), Frustrated (L24), Disappointed (L39), Fair/Not Fair (L41), Malicious (L45)
  • Lesson 28: Tolerance
  • Lesson 29: Different Points of View and Kanesh Johnson biography
  • Lesson 46: Rejected, Included

Jump Start Lessons

For students in Grades 3-5, the following Jump Start Lessons help students discuss and manage feelings:

  • Lesson 3: Sad
  • Lesson 5: Scared or Afraid
  • Lesson 6: Mad or Angry
  • Lesson 7: Worried
  • Lesson 9: Disgusted
  • Lesson 11: Disappointed

Grade 3

  • Lesson 26: We are all Unique
  • Lesson 27: Respecting Others

Grade 4

  • Lesson 22: Biography of Harriet Tubman
  • Lesson 33: Biography of MLK
  • Lesson 35: Stereotypes and Discrimination
  • Novel Study: Drita, My Homegirl

Grade 5

  • Lesson 26: Conflict
  • Lesson 32: Anxiety
  • Novel Study: Maniac Magee

Preview the PATHS Program

Grade 6

  • Unit 1, Lesson 11: Values
  • Unit 2, Lesson 6: Diversity
  • Unit 2, Lesson 7: Perspective-Taking
  • Unit 3, Lesson 8: Cultural Competence
  • Socratic Seminar: A Long Walk to Water

Grade 7

  • Unit 1, Lesson 7: Morals
  • Unit 2, Lesson 1: Showing Respect
  • Unit 2, Lesson 4: Stereotypes
  • Unit 2, Lesson 10: Perspective
  • Unit 2, Lesson 11: Cultural Competence
  • Socratic Seminar: Inside Out and Back Again

Grade 8

  • Unit 1, Lesson 5: Cultural Competence
  • Unit 1, Lesson 7: Belonging and Rejection
  • Unit 1, Lesson 10: Ethics and Integrity
  • Unit 2, Lesson 1: Human Variation
  • Unit 2, Lesson 7: Perspective Taking
  • Unit 3, Lesson 4: Prejudice and Racism
  • Unit 3, Lesson 7: Point of View
  • Socratic Seminar: The Crossover
Preview the Emozi Program

Additional Resources for Teaching about Racism, Stereotypes, and Prejudice

Topics: Social and emotional learning, PATHS Program, Emozi Program, Training & Support, SEL Resources