10 SEL activities for high school students

Between balancing core instruction, administering assessments, grading homework, and ensuring students are prepared for college and career, high school teachers have a lot on their plates. SEL activities can make your jobs easier!

When students have strong social and emotional skills, they are more motivated, engaged, and understand the value of their learning. SEL also helps reduce disruptive behavior and office referrals, which allows teachers to spend more time on their instruction. Additionally, SEL activities can improve high school students’ college and career readiness and help them set goals for life after high school.

It’s easy to integrate SEL activities in your core instruction! Here are 10 activities and lesson ideas for high school students–organized by subject area–to get you started.


Grades 9–12: Seed Keepers – Native American Agriculture

Teaching students the farming traditions of Native Americans can be a fun way to reinforce social and emotional and 21st century skills. In this FutureFit™ project, students explore the “three sisters” growing technique and how to save heirloom seeds.

Grades 9–12: Design and Launch Soda Bottle Rockets

STEM projects are a natural fit for SEL because they require students to work together, communicate their ideas effectively, problem-solve, and overcome obstacles. This bottle rocket activity encourages older students to practice these important skills while trying not to get a soda shower!

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