What Is “SEL” and Why Is It Important?  

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), also known as Emotional Intelligence, is about understanding one’s self and others. It includes skills such as:

  • Awareness of our emotions 
  • Managing our emotions and our interactions with others
  • Establishing and maintaining positive relationships with others
  • Making responsible decisions

Why is SEL important?  The better question might be, “In what ways is ‘SEL’ NOT important?”

Our emotions influence absolutely everything about how we experience life; the emotional center of the brain is the first region to receive and process all incoming information. That means…

Every element of information entering our brain first runs through the filter of our emotions. It continues to boggle our minds why society, and especially the field of education, systematically disregard the importance of “emotions.”

Meanwhile, as humans, we are built to be social creatures. Therefore, our relationships with others are extremely critical to our survival. In fact, in cases of extreme hunger and harsh conditions, people with strong social connections are known to fare much better.

For this reason, it’s no surprise that there is a high correlation between students with strong social-emotional skills and performance in school.

What Do We Teach in SEL? (Table of Contents)

The SOAR SEL Curriculum is designed for grades 5-12 and is organized into the following framework:

(S)elf:  Developing awareness of self: strengths and limitations, identifying/understanding emotions, and managing emotions, stress, and anxiety, to become a strong and confident individual.

(O)thers: Developing social awareness of others’ perspectives and emotions, while also appreciating diverse backgrounds and cultures to become empathetic towards others.

(A)lign:  Developing the skills to build positive relationships through communicating, negotiating conflict, and supporting others (while also reducing bullying).

(R)esponsibility:  Developing the skills to make decisions for positive impacts on self and others, while also considering the role of ethics and professionalism in the real world.

SEL Lessons


1. Introduction to SEL
2. Who Am I?
3. How Do I Feel?
4. How Do I Think?
5. How to Build a Growth Mindset
6. How to Manage Emotions
7. How to Manage Stress & Anxiety
8. How to Set Goals9. How to Get Organized


10. How Do Others Think & Feel?
11. Diversity! Not division


12. Connection Through Communication
13. How to Build Relationships & Communicate
14. How to Work In Groups
15. How to Handle Relationship Challenges
16. Are You an Ally or a Bully?


17. How to Make Decisions
18. Responsibility in the Real World

What SEL Materials Are Included?

All SEL curriculum packages include:

  • The SOAR Multi-Media Teacher’s Guide 
  • Student licenses, available in three formats:
    • Software licenses
    • Workbooks
    • Combo (software licenses + workbooks)

About the SOAR® SEL Multi-Media Teacher’s Guide

The Multi-Media Teacher’s Guide (MMTG) is a complete resource kit!

It includes:

  • Ready-to-go SEL lesson plans.
  • 240+ done-for-you slides in a teacher presentation for guiding instruction in SEL.
  • Multiple assessments, articles,  & SEL activities.
  • Clean, bright, colorful presentation. Great for visual learners.
  • Additional online resources tie the SOAR strategies to the “real-world.”
  • A lot of support! Comprehensive instructor support is included.

“The Teacher’s Guide is very user-friendly and convenient. My students like the language and identify with the skills they need to work on as they go through high school.”

                   – Meghan S., Intervention Specialist

“Thank you so much for this valuable resource! I’m teaching a new soft skills course this year. The (resources) you provide are invaluable. These materials are lifesavers… literally!”

                   – Deb P., Middle School Teacher

About the SOAR® Student Workbook

Our “human-friendly” SEL workbook guides students through the core SEL strategies with practical application. Each section is written in a clear, succinct, and professional manner. The book includes many visuals and diagrams to provide support for struggling readers and enriched examples for more advanced students.

“I liked how everything was grouped in categories and everything kind of set up the next step of SOAR.”

– Stephanie C., 11th grade student

“SOAR has definitely helped me so much. My teacher also would like me to be a Teacher’s Assistant when I’m a senior. I hope others learn as much as I did from SOAR.”

– Ginny R. 11th grade student

About the SOAR® Student App 

The online student app covers the entire SOAR® Social-Emotional Learning workbook, presented as a self-guided course.

The online software SEL app includes:

✓ Interactive content/games, providing immediate feedback

✓ “How-to” videos, illustrating strategies

✓ Fully narrated slides, for reading support

✓ Quizzes/assessments, to ensure understanding of material

✓ Badges & certificates awarded for achievements

✓ Easy access from any computer or mobile device

What Grades/Subjects Use the SEL Curriculum?

The SOAR®  Social-Emotional Curriculum is designed to cover CORE social-emotional skills that apply across age-levels. The content is written with an easy-going yet professional tone; it is accessible to middle-school students, yet relevant to adults.

Regardless if students are in 6th grade or a senior in college, the types of social-emotional skills are all the same. Therefore, the strategies in the SOAR® SEL Curriculum are appropriate for:

  • Upper elementary*
  • Middle school
  • High school
  • College

*Some skills are not age-appropriate for mastery at younger levels. (We still recommend exposing students to these skills at lower levels.)

Furthermore, SOAR® SEL prides itself on being both student-friendly and teacher-friendly. It was designed to be used in a variety of settings, such as:

  • Middle school
  • High school
  • Special Education & RTI
  • At-Risk & Title-I
  • Private Schools
  • Career & Technical Education, and more!  

SOAR® SEL has masterfully identified the essential, 80/20 SEL skills that create strong, competent, and supportive individuals.  Plus, when students focus on the most essential skills, they also develop mastery, which leads to years of successful learning outcomes in school and even into the workplace.

What Does the SOAR® SEL Curriculum Cost?

Explore curriculum pricing:

UNDER 100 Students? We provide pre-packaged curriculum options for classroom or “small program” adoptions, click here for more details.

OVER 100 Students? For adoptions of over 100 students, the rate per student scales; the more students, the greater “per student” price. To request a simple, “no-hassle” quote, click here

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More Details About SOAR® SEL

Scope & Sequence

CASEL Alignment


Assessment Options

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