Grade Level: 
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Social issues
Definitions and activities to develop the core SEL competency of self-awareness through community and generosity.

SEL Definition of Self-Awareness:

According to CASEL
(Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning)

"The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism."

According to Learning to Give - SEL in the context of teaching generosity:

"The ability to know how you fit into the community.  It is also the ability to figure out what the community means to you and what you can do to impact the community."

Activities to Build Self-Awareness through Community and Generosity:

Blue Sky Envisioning Activity 

Blue Sky Envisioning Activity Get to know youth and what they care about with this group envisioning activity. The participants understand themselves and their community and imagine a better world. Then discuss first steps they can take. Watch this video for directions and suggested starting prompts. 

SEL Connection - Blue Sky Envisioning Activity

Conversations with Grandparents Activity 

Conversations with Grandparents A Simple Safe Service project to do from home: Interview a grandparent or elderly friend to find out what they did for fun when they were young, and how it is the same and different than you. Follow your phone or video interview with a card in the mail. Check out this sample video:

Conversations with Grandparents - SEL Connection to Self Awareness

Community Mapping Activity

Community Mapping Identify community assets and potential partners in project planning. Youth collect data in order to create a map of community assets and resources within a defined area. A community map highlights people, physical structures, organizations, and institutions that can be utilized to create a meaningful service project. Youth learn to answer the questions: Where do I fit in community? How can I help my community? 

Service-Learning Project Idea
  • Design Service-Learning Projects that connect across generations. 
    • For example, write letters to seniors at a retirement home who aren’t able to leave because of the quarantine. Through writing, tell them about your experiences and ask about theirs to create self-awareness and awareness of others. Some ideas for acts of kindness may arise.
    • Grow and give flowers to the residents at a retirement community to brighten up their rooms and to cheer them up since they haven't seen family members and visitors for several months due to COVID-19. Read Ms. Schneider’s story Flower Garden for Life for inspiration. "It was a team effort on coming up with the plan to make our school look brighter outside and a bonus that my students came up with the idea of giving flowers to the residents at Golden Orchards to brighten up their rooms and to cheer them up since they haven't seen family members and visitors for several months due to COVID-19," said Ms. Schneider. 

Additional Social Emotional Learning in Community Resources