4-Part Social-Emotional Learning Lesson Plan for Virtual Learning – Gopher PE Blog
It is important for physical educators to lead the way in teaching socio-emotional learning in schools. A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. It is the responsibility of educators to give students the tools they need to be successful in life and mental health is an extremely important tool. Recently on […]

It is important for physical educators to lead the way in teaching socio-emotional learning in schools. A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. It is the responsibility of educators to give students the tools they need to be successful in life and mental health is an extremely important tool.

Recently on SHAPE America's TOY Talk Tuesday, LaDonda Porter (@lporterPE), a teacher at the College of Physical Education in Kentucky, joined SHAPE America's Michelle Carter to discuss a new way to teach socio-emotional learning in a virtual setting.

Porter used a free preview of SHAPE America health. moves. minds. ™ SEL Lesson Plan and virtualized it for his students to deliver a creative SEL lesson.

We encourage you to watch the full video below. If you're short on time, check out the summary below:

Video summary:

Lesson 1: Mindfulness and myself:


1. Introductory activity: "A kind of warm-up"

In “Kind of a Warm-Up,” Porter downloaded the SHAPE America message cards and added them to a randomizer video. She asked the students to jog on the spot (or do an exercise) with a signal and when the signal told them to rest, she presented them with a kind message card by playing the randomizer video and stopping the video to display a random card.

After the activity was completed, Porter asked the students to think about the kind messages by asking them the discussion questions below.

Porter explains "A kind of warm-up"

Discussion questions:

  • What are some of the posts you read?
  • What was your first reaction / initial thought when you read the post?
  • How did you feel reading all the messages?
  • How do you feel when you receive kind messages from friends? Family? Teachers? Foreigners?
  • How does it feel to give someone a kind message?

2. Formatting: nice vs negative

In "Kind vs Negative Fitness" Porter used the same concept as "Kind of a Warm Up", but she became SHAPE America kind message cards and negative message cards in a randomization video for a Tabata-style fitness activity. When the Tabata recording counted from "3-2-1", Porter interrupted the randomizer video. If the message was a kind message, the students had to perform jumps. If the message was a negative card, the students had to perform squats. You can challenge the students even more by making them choose their own activity (cardiovascular exercise, muscle strength exercise, etc.)

Porter explains "Focus on fitness: nice vs negative"

Questions / Discussion Topics:

  • When you read the first negative post, what was your reaction?
  • It was probably quite surprising and imagine if someone you knew told you that. What about someone you didn't know? And you?
  • We mostly talk to each other in our heads; this is called internal speech. Just as we practice giving compliments or kind messages to other people, we need to practice and make sure that we also talk to each other in a positive way.

3. Lesson objective: Build a structure

For the purpose of the lesson, Porter has been incredibly creative with his use of technology. Its goal was to get students to build a structure using Google Slides. Here is a link to his Google Slide document. To use it with your students, simply go to (File> Make a Copy> Full Overview. After the structures were built, she asked the students to share kind and specific messages to their classmates and think about the messages that their classmates shared them.

Technological tip:
In order to create the structures, Porter created a Google Slide document and made a slide for each of his students. She duplicated the elements of the structure on each page and asked the students to find their slide to build their structure.

Students can then share kind messages by adding a comment on each slide (Insert> Comment)

Porter explains "Objective of the lesson: To build a structure"

Discussion topics:

  • I want you to take a few moments to reflect on the activity and think of a kind or positive message or compliment that you can give to each of your teammates.
  • The key thing to keep in mind when giving a compliment or a kind message is that it should be genuine and specific. So, instead of saying “good job,” describe what good job you think they did.
  • Take a minute to think about what kind messages you want to convey to your teammates. Then we will share them with our teammates.

4. Closing: Conscious Minute

The purpose of the Mindfulness Minute is to give students the tools to focus and calm their minds when they are feeling crazy, sad, stressed and overwhelmed.

Invite students to practice a minute of reflection by encouraging them to:

  • Get into a comfortable position for them
  • Close your eyes
  • Clear their mind
  • Focus on the breath (It is normal for their minds to wander. Encourage them to focus on their breathing when possible.)
  • Focus on what they hear and notice around them.

After a minute, ask the students to open their eyes and think about how they felt.

If you enjoyed this SEL lesson and want more SEL lesson plans, materials, templates and timelines for K-12, we encourage you to register your school for health. moves. spirits. ™ Simply Free registration to have full access to all health care. moves. minds. ™ SEL Resources!

ToyTalk Tuesday is a bi-monthly interview series on health and physical education topics by the SHAPE America's Teacher of the Year partner network. Each episode features tips and actionable resources from SHAPE America's National and District Teacher of the Year.

The Teacher of the Year program is made possible by the Teacher of the Year partner network. SPARK, Wellness Training Specialists (WellTrain), Gopher and Goodheart-Willcox Publisher (GW) are our 2020 partners in this program.


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While we all certainly enjoy watching something come to fruition, there is something extra special about being involved in the revitalization of something as well. Over the years, we’ve been blessed to be involved in a number of these variétés of projects ranging from local community centres and schools all the way to nationally recognized institutions such as Queen’s University.

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