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University of Minnesota Extension

Social and emotional learning toolkit

Social and emotional learning (SEL) helps youth to be aware of and manage emotions, work well with others and work hard when faced with challenges. Youth programs can help youth to develop SEL skills by creating opportunities for them to:

  • Engage in real-world projects
  • Work in teams
  • Take on meaningful roles
  • Face challenges
  • Experience the emotional ups and downs along the way

This toolkit includes activities, templates and tools organized around four ways to help support staff and youth in SEL. It goes along with the 3-hour training Social and Emotional Learning in Practice and related issue briefs. It is mainly for those working with youth in middle school, but with small changes, activities can be used with other age groups too. See the Introduction for an overview of how the toolkit was made. You can read it from start to finish, but you need not use it in order. Select activities that meet your needs and fit with your program design. Make the most of it by taking the Readiness Inventory first. Your responses will help identify sections of the toolkit that will be most helpful.

Access the toolkit

Toolkit sections


To access the SEL Toolkit, please complete the following form. Our toolkit remains a free download, but we often get requests to purchase hard copies. It is now available at shop4-h.org with discounted bulk pricing.

Your information will not be shared and will be used for continuous improvement of the SEL Toolkit.

This toolkit can be reproduced for educational purposes, but use this citation: Walker, K., Olson, B., & Herman, M. (2019). Social and Emotional Learning in Practice: A Toolkit of Practical Strategies and Resources (2nd ed.). St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension.

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