Small-Group SEL Activities to Strengthen Belonging and Relationships


Social-emotional learning (SEL) instruction in small groups can be a great way to build student belonging and community—while also teaching key skills and competencies that students may need additional support with. 

This summer and fall, many students will be reconnecting with peers and educators in-person for the first time in over a year. As you help create the environments that support students to reintegrate socially, small-group SEL activities (which can take place during homeroom, morning meetings, or advisory periods) are great Tier 1 or 2 interventions to focus on relationship-building as a precursor to academic learning.  

This toolkit includes a set of 6 facilitation guides for small-group SEL activities—complete with “how to” instructions and differentiation tips for educators. These low-lift strategies are designed to help promote positive relationships while building students’ SEL skills. 

This resource is perfect for:

  • District Leaders: Share these facilitation guides with your school teams and consider ways to improve districtwide SEL implementation.
  • School Leaders: Bring these small-group intervention ideas to PLCs, staff meetings, Student Support team meetings, or summer school programming sessions to ensure SEL is embedded into the fabric of your school.
  • Teachers and Student Support Staff: Try these activities with your students during morning meetings, advisory, or homeroom to strengthen relationships and teach key social-emotional skills.

Example Interventions (Instructions Included!):

  Body Scan
✔  Lunch Bunch
  Two-Word Check-In