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Social and Emotional Learning Toolkit

Find new resources each month in the ACT for Youth Update!
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Preparing Youth for Adulthood provides additional curricula and activities related to social and emotional learning:

Relationship Skills

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) enhances the ability to communicate and connect with a range of people in healthy ways. In this section of the SEL Toolkit, we link to strategies and resources that will help youth work professionals teach relationship skills.

For curricula, additional activities, and resources for youth, visit Helping Youth Build Relationship Skills. For resources focusing on intimate partner violence prevention, visit Teen Dating Violence.

Model and Promote Positive Communication Skills

Active Listening and Feedback

These handouts are designed to help youth work professionals model and explain positive communication skills.

Active Listening

Positive and Constructive Feedback

"I" Messages

The U.S. Department of State "Diplomacy in Action" site includes a helpful page describing the positive use of "I" messages.

Web Page

Teaching Resources for Youth Educators - A Source Book

Created by Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development, this collection of teaching materials includes activities, games, exercises, handouts, and worksheets that deal with interpersonal communication skills, relationships, conflict resolution, and public speaking.


Youth Engaged in Leadership and Learning

This manual from the John W. Gardner Center includes many exercises aimed at building communication and social skills.


Teach Social Skills and Relationship Education

Random Acts of Kindness: 6th-8th Grade Curriculum

This social emotional learning curriculum is designed to help schools create a culture of kindness. Each unit teaches core kindness concepts: respect, caring, inclusiveness, integrity, responsibility, and courage. Registration required.

Lesson Plans

Healthy Relationships Resource Kit

From Western Health in Newfoundland, this kit provides a wealth of activities to promote healthy relationships of all kinds among children and teens. Section 2 offers activities for grades 4 through 12.


Amaze: Healthy Relationships

Amaze offers animated videos covering a full range of sexual health topics, including healthy relationships. Videos are designed for young adolescents. Information and resources for educators are also provided.


4 Social/Emotional Skills You Can Easily Practice with Teens

Here, Nobel Coaching offers activities that help young people build listening and nonverbal communication skills.


Character Lab Playbooks

Playbooks from Character Lab offer brief, research-based tips and guidance on helping children develop specific character strengths.

Kindness Playbook

Social Intelligence Playbook

Use Group Learning Strategies

Collaborative Learning

This handout includes collaborative learning activities and tips.

Activities and Tips

Jim Cain's Raccoon Circles

This collection of team-building activities is for both small and large groups. Many of the activities are intended to be done outdoors.


This is a database of free group games, icebreakers, and team-building activities.


Youth Adult Partnership Manual

This Innovation Center manual offers activities for youth and adults, both separately and jointly, in preparation for working together.


Teach Conflict Resolution Skills

Problem-Solving with Teenagers: Steps and Tips

The Raising Children Network describes six steps for working with a young person in order to reach a solution together.

Web Page

Consensus - Action Planning

This handout describes an inclusive process for group planning.

Planning Process

KidsHealth in the Classroom: Conflict Resolution

These activities are linked to articles for teens on feelings, mental health, and relationships.

Teacher's Guide, Activities


Assessing Peer Conflict and Aggressive Behavior

This Child Trends brief discusses peer conflict and aggressive behaviors, ways to reduce these behaviors, and assessment.

Research Brief

What Works for Promoting and Enhancing Positive Social Skills

This Child Trends literature review of 38 programs identifies practices that work, or do not work, to promote positive social skills.

Research Brief

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