Social and Emotional Skills Lessons

I hope you will be inspired by…

  • Growth Mindset and Positive Education Resources
  • Videos that show people (and some animals) with amazing strengths, such as resilience
  • Team Work Challenges and Games
  • Sharing Opportunities/Activities


Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck 

the-growth-mindset-i-can-get-smarterJo Boaler website about having a Growth mindset in Maths

Developing dispositions for learning:


  • Explicit teaching of skills, which are then practised during ‘team challenges’ or fitness games. I recommend not just doing this as a once-off lesson, but have this as an ongoing social/emotional development lesson in your timetable. Click here for examples of team challenges.
  • Create an illustration of the Learning Pit
  • Constantly reference attitude/mindset in all lessons.
  • Students reflect on their attitude/mindset at the end of the lesson. This could be a written reflection or verbal.
  • Praise what you value… positive attitude and statements that reflect a growth mindset, rather than achievement. Reference:


  • Watch a video or read a book and identify the attitudes/mindsets of the characters;  students write their own motivational speech; write a letter to the person or character. Click here for books and videos. 

More information about Growth Mindset:


Positive Education- Focus on strengths, mindfulness and ‘bucket filling’

Mindfulness, guided meditations: 




Bucket Filling 

  • Picture Book to read to students: “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” – by Carol McCloud



Inspirational Videos

Here are some videos/resources I have used to support students to develop skills needed for life long success including, self-regulation, leadership and perspective.

***Watch first, to check if these are appropriate for your class.

Click here for background information about the below video (Ian’s story).

Students could research people who have shown great resilience. For example:

  • Albert Einstein
  • J K Rowling
  • Henry Ford
  • Katherine Johnson
  • Stephan Hawking

Click here to check out inspirational STEM professionals changing the world


Other inspirational resources…

25 Of The Most Dangerous And Unusual Journeys To School In The World


Team Work Challenge Games

Spaghetti and Marshmallow Challenge- students work in teams to build the tallest tower they can using 1/2 a packet of spaghetti and 1 packet of marshmallows. This can be really frustrating as students can have a great, tall tower but then it might collapse at the end. The focus is on being a good team member, having good communication skills and resilience.


Newspaper Tower Challenge- Each group has 1/2 a newspaper and must build the tallest tower they can in 30 minutes. The focus is on all group members participating.


Cup Pyramid Challenge- students work in teams to create a pyramid out of cups. They are not allowed to touch the cups with their hands and have to use the rubber band with string attached to move the cups.


Human Knot- students stand in a circle, hold the hands of two people who are NOT directly next to them. They then need to untangle the knot without letting go of the persons’ hands they are holding.


Hula Hoop Pass- students stand in a circle, holding the hands of the people next to them. They need to move the hula hoop around the circle, by each team member going through the hula hoop.

Resource:  Team Work Challenge Reflection (students decided on the criteria as a class)

Sharing Opportunities/Activities

M&M Sharing: Students sit in groups of 5-8 and take turns to choose an m&m, and share information based on the colour of the M&M.  See here for questions linked to m&m colours.

2 Truths and a Lie: Students write 3 statements about their holidays/weekend/first day (whatever the sharing topic is). Two statements are true and one is a lie. In groups or as a whole class, students read out their 3 statements and their peers need to guess which statement is the lie.

Take a photo: students draw a photo of something that happened during their holiday (or other sharing topic), with a caption. The class then tries to match the photo to the student who drew the picture.


Thought Provoking Videos 


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