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Integrating Social and Emotional Learning in English Language Arts

Traditional ways of learning mainly focus on academic success However students are the future citizens of the country so they should be taught about social and emotional learning as it would help them to become better citizens. Most schools only use arts integration for their students so they can explore their thought, feelings, or opinion in a creative way but to help students develop communication skills, empathy, kindness, Cooperation, Active Listening Teachers should integrate social and emotional learning in arts as Arts and Social-Emotional Learning works best together and it will provide all-round development for the students.


Social and emotional learning looks overwhelming but we have all experienced it like how music can help us relax by lifting our mood or when we are sad we listen to sad music to keep us calm, or we see movies/play and how we connect with the characters and start to empathize with it.  So this is exactly what social-emotional learning is, Teachers, use SEL with arts to develop social-emotional well-being and it is all about knowing or managing yourself also being able to empathize and interact well with others.

Only a few schools like boarding schools of India focus on providing SEL with arts in their classroom to help students getting all-around development. However, Teachers have a hard time using social-emotional learning in the classroom as this technique is relatively new and it will take time to get comfortable with it. Getting started with SEL is not at all difficult for teachers as they only have to integrate SEL with arts using Music, Drama, and arts. So here’s how a teacher can integrate SEL with arts: 

Self Awareness and Dance 

Teachers can make students use to move and freeze activity where students have to explore a variety of moments and they have to move around maintaining perfect distance with others once the pathway is decided teachers start the instrumental music and ask students to jump, walk or dance through space. Teachers can stop the music and instruct kids to carry an emotion such as angrily, joyful, happy, proudly, sadly, etc. Teachers every so often stops the music and ask students to relax and check how their body feels when they carry such emotions giving students insights about their emotions that will create self-awareness among students. 

Using Music to Increase focus 

Teachers can use music in their classroom as it will be beneficial for both teachers and students as it creates an environment that enhances students’ focus and they feel comfortable. When there is no music in the classroom and a state of pin-drop silence even a slight sound can distract students from learning but on the other hand, the teacher uses nonrhythmic music in the classroom which acts as background music in a classroom which will uplift the students and they tend to focus more on the material in a peaceful environment.

Social Awareness and Drama 

With the help of Drama, teachers can help students develop empathy for others as for this teachers can use a playing card and ask students to walk in the shoes and feel the character emotions they can use some example for the character card like put yourself in Robin shoes: Robin always come to schools with a big smile but his clothes are always dirty so his classmates make fun of him for wearing dirty clothes. So teachers can make students perform a skit and focus on the character’s body language, facial expressions, and emotions. These students will get deeply connected with the character and start to develop empathy for the character. 


This is one of the most easiest integration of arts with social emotional learning in this teachers show the visual or images and painting of the character and ask students to analyse the picture and write down the narrative about the character life this will make students focus on character their emotions , their feelings and this will enhance their perspective taking and they start to understand the emotions of others fast so they can adjust their behaviour accordingly which will help them in their social life.

Though Social Emotional Learning is a new concept still  it is very effective for the students learning and every school should focus on providing and integrating SEL with Arts to provide the overall development to the students and it is super easy to integrate SEL with ELA.


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