Students’ Ability to Identify Emotions Using Social Emotional Learning Strategies

Date of Award

Fall 12-19-2019

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Courtney LaLonde



The integration of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) into students’ everyday education is vital. The importance of teaching SEL to students helps with listening skills, skills for learning, identify feelings, empathy, and calm down strategies throughout life. The fact that many students are unaware of these lessons is why it is so important for schools to be teaching these necessary skills. Through a school-wide approach, the school can function as a positive community to build SEL skills. A curriculum that is used to teach SEL skills is Second Step. This study included approximately 42 kindergarten and 23 first grade students, consisting of both females and males, special education students, and English Language Learners. The researchers involved in this study were two kindergarten teachers and one first grade teacher from two schools in the same school district. Social emotional curriculum from the school district called Second Step (Committee for Children, 2011) was used. Six lessons, one lesson per week, were taught. The lessons focused on skills for learning and empathy in the first two units. A preassessment and post assessment were conducted to measure students’ increased knowledge of SEL skills and strategies. The researchers had students check-in both in the morning and in the afternoon to identify their emotions that were connected to the Zones of Regulation. Through teaching our Second Step SEL curriculum explicitly, students were able to identify emotions within themselves and others by demonstrating known strategies to help improve emotional awareness.

Abstract only: No full text available.