Identity self-portraits create opportunities for self-understanding by encouraging youth to reflect on different facets of their identities. Participants illustrate their visible and invisible identity markers, reflect upon how these identities interact with how they perceive themselves and how they are perceived by others.
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In this activity young people are asked to consider how their race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality impact how they control their emotions. This Self-Management tool asks young people to reflect upon how they regulate their behaviors and emotions. They will then be asked to discuss how race, gender, and other identity markers impact the expectations of behavior and emotion regulation from different groups. Different Strokes for Different Folks is inspired by the article, "Why We Can't Afford Whitewashed Social-Emotional Learning" by Dena Simmons.
"The Shout" is an Everyday SEL practice for encouraging young people to express their authentic emotions and use their emotions to create change. Cierra Kaler-Jones argues that “Righteous anger has long been used as a tool to fuel movements that have and continue to propel our nation forward towards justice. To tell students to not harness their anger is to tell them their rage isn’t warranted.”
This activity introduces youth to the concept of privilege. Participants will become aware of their privilege and how their privilege enhances or hinders their access to opportunities.
One of the most effective ways to support youth social emotional growth is with regular check-ins. Use ice breakers to give youth a chance to listen, talk, reflect, build empathy, and discuss critical thinking and issues. The following conversation prompts are organized by the SEL categories and the type of engagement they bring out.
This activity encourages youth to discuss the power of privilege. Participants will understand how their perspectives, identity, and values influence their decisions in this activity. They will also understand that privileges are social constructs, A social construct is something that exists not in reality, but as a result of human interaction. It exists because humans agree that it exists.
Language holds the power to unite or divide us, and we may unknowingly use language that excludes or offends our listeners. The language used at home, on TV, in Music, and in the Media often contains insensitive or divisive language with the potential to offend. Youth can identify and make an effort to use more inclusive language instead. By managing their own language, youth can serve as models for their peers and others in their community.
Courageous Conversations about social justice are an Everyday SEL practice. These prompts can be used to facilitate conversations that aim to build empathy and connection by inviting participants to speak and listen from the heart. Courageous Conversations take place after a stimulus, such as a video or image, is introduced. A stimulus is used to build background and stimulate thinking and discussion.
After a meaningful session or day together, a reflective writing prompt can help young people internalize, sort, or articulate their thoughts and feelings. A great tool for SEL and personal reflection, exit tickets provide a prompt to bring thoughts to a close before moving out the door. Designed to be handed to the facilitator as a "ticket" out the door, they may also be kept private if someone doesn't want to share their thoughts in the moment.
Through rhyming and delicious descriptions, this book celebrates the beauty of different skin colors. This book encourages self-love and a healthy appreciation for our uniqueness and the power of diversity. Reading this story together provides an opportunity to talk about each person's unique beauty and gifts.