Everyday SEL Current Event Check-In
- Social Awareness: demonstrate empathy and compassion
- Relationship Skills: communicate effectively
- Choose a topic from current events, such as a recent weather disaster or election topic, and encourage the group to share their thoughts, feelings, or opinions. Allow time for response and discussion.
- Ask what type of news or current events interest them.
- Tell them that there are going to be regular current events check-ins to allow them to express themselves and listen to other points of view on things that matter to them and their community.
- On a chart paper labelled "Community Current Events Check-In," make four columns with the following headers:
- I would like to know more about…
- I would like to share my thoughts, feelings, opinions about…
- I would like to have a large group discussion about…
- I feel really *insert emotion* about…
- Put the chart in an an accessible area for young people to "check in" as they join the group.
- For younger children, name the current event topic. For teens, you may leave it open for them to write the topic on their sticky note.
- For example, you can write "mask wearing" as the topic of the day. As they join, they put a sticky note under the column heading that expresses their intent or thoughts about mask wearning.
- Use this as a way to start daily conversations about current events, especially how they view the same events differently, from their different cultural perspectives.
Whole Group Discussion Questions
- How does this current event affect you?
- Where do you get accurate information about this topic? What do you do to assure yourself you are getting information from a reliable source?
- How does someone from a different cultural perspective see this issue differently and why?
- What else do you want to learn about this issue?
- What can we do to create change around the issue?
Self Reflection Writing Prompts
Writing Prompt: How can you use anger to create change? For example: instead of being upset about all the bad things happening in the world, you could use your anger as motivation to get involved and volunteer for a cause.
- Reinforce the idea that it’s okay to be angry, sad, worried, or scared but it’s never okay to hurt yourself or others.
- Identify healthy ways to cope with emotions. Emotions can provide information about a situation, and they don't have to control us.
- Get ideas from youth about what current events should be discussed in future check-in conversations. Are there any that aren't showing up in the news?
Futher reading for educators:
- Go Ahead and feel the Anger - It Will Encourage Social Change by Judith T. Moskowitz
- How Anger Can Be Put to Good Use by David Robson