Everyday SEL Current Event Check-In

Grade Level: 
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Current Events
Relationship Skills
Social Awareness
The "Current Event Check-In" is an Everyday SEL practice. It is a culturally responsive version of the daily emotion check-in; it offers youth the opportunity to check-in regarding the current events in their communities. In order to have a social awareness of one’s community, youth must be able to inquire, discuss, and share their thoughts and opinions about the events in their community on a regular basis.

SEL Connection: 

  • Social Awareness: demonstrate empathy and compassion
  • Relationship Skills: communicate effectively


  1. 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. 
  2. Ask what type of news or current events interest them. 
  3. 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. 

Activity Instructions

  1. 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…
  2. Put the chart in an an accessible area for young people to "check in" as they join the group.

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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

  1. How does this current event affect you?
  2. Where do you get accurate information about this topic? What do you do to assure yourself you are getting information from a reliable source?
  3. How does someone from a different cultural perspective see this issue differently and why?
  4. What else do you want to learn about this issue?
  5. 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.  

Wrap Up

  • 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: