SEL Lesson: Areas of Strength and Areas for Growth

  • $3.00

In kindergarten and first grade, students can begin to explore their personal areas of strength and areas for growth. SEL activities are the perfect opportunity to get students thinking. Using a growth mindset approach, students can celebrate their strengths, while acknowledging there are areas that can improve.

In this lesson, students identify areas of strength, areas for growth, tools to help them grow, and obstacles that might be in their way.

What You Get

3 Step Lesson Plan with SEL Standards

  • Mini Lesson with Anchor Chart Materials and Student Visuals.
    • Student-friendly visuals to help explore areas they shine and areas they want to grow.
    • Shine Card, Grow Card, Tools Card, Clouds Card, PLUS visual examples.
  • Guided Practice Activity: Short character stories where students can identify the character's strengths, areas for growth, possible tools, and obstacles.
    • Henrietta & Ollie Story Cards
    • Shine, Grow, Tools, Clouds Chart
  • Differentiated Independent Activity: Students explore their own strengths and places for growth.
    • Multiple Student Shine & Grow Pages
    • Shine & Grow Takeaway Bookmark
  • Exit Ticket

This is a 3 Step Lesson: Introduce, Practice, Apply. You will be able to scaffold your instruction using the additional materials provided to modify and differentiate for students and setting. Consider following up on the lesson with the suggested bulletin board, game, activity, or book connections.


This resource is perfect for teachers and school counselors incorporating social emotional learning and emotional awareness.

SEL Standards

  1. Names activities or tasks one does well,
  2. Names activities or tasks one may need help to improve.

CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) has established five competencies for social-emotional learning. Some school districts and states have taken this work and developed standards to be used at each grade level or a multi-grade level band. The gold standards of this work have been developed by the Illinois State Board of Education, Austin Independent School District (AISD), and Anchorage School District.

The AISD and the Anchorage School District use almost identical standards, goals, and benchmarks. I have merged these two sets of standards into one given their similarity. These districts also created five grade bands (early elementary, upper elementary, middle school, early high school, and late high school). Elementary through Middle School is included here.

The Illinois State Board of Education created 3 goals drawn from CASEL’s five competencies and then created 10 standards for those three goals. Each grade has two to three levels of skills/performance descriptors that should be expected to be accomplished under each standard.