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Activities for Building Character and Social-Emotional Learning Grades 1–2
Katia S. Petersen, Ph.D. 
Activities for Building Character and Social-Emotional Learning Grades 1–2
In Activities for Building Character and Social-Emotional Learning, hundreds of user-friendly lesson plans help teachers build attitudes of respect and caring, reduce problem behaviors, empower students to solve problems, and educate the whole child socially, emotionally, and academically. The lessons’ literature-based connections allow teachers to “build in” rather than “add on” social-emotional learning (SEL) as part of the daily curriculum. The four teacher resources in the Safe & Caring Schools® series can also be implemented as a schoolwide preK–8 program. Each resource guide offers:
  • Monthly themes focused on emotions, empathy, relationships, conflict resolution, bullying prevention, problem solving, decision making, teamwork, and self-esteem
  • Easy-to-implement lesson formats for all activities: Read, Discuss, Do, Relate
  • Literature-based lessons with curriculum integrations for using the lessons as part of language arts, social studies, science, math, art, and music
  • Built-in assessments
  • Grade-grouped materials (PreK–K, Grades 1–2, Grades 3–5, Grades 6–8) include helpful tips for organizing a schoolwide program
  • Available staff training, contact

Digital content includes all of the book's reproducible forms.

One of the key components of the Grades 1–2 materials is teaching kids to get along. Teachers are encouraged to use classroom meetings (circle time) throughout the day to deal with misunderstandings, bullying, inappropriate language, and social conflicts that arise inside and outside the classroom. By doing so, a forum is created where students can share their feelings, as well as review, process, and discuss ways to positively resolve conflicts. The more than 100 lesson plans and activities give multiple opportunities to capitalize on the teachable moments. Key concepts explored in the program:

  • Me and my safe and caring school—how to be an Ambassador of Peace
  • Discovering our feelings—learning how to Stop, Think, Choose
  • My support system—caring for others and being a friend
  • Respect yourself and others—using good manners or bad manners
  • Caring about one another—helping to prevent bullying
  • Cooperation—how to team up for success
  • Getting along with others—using conflict resolution skills
  • The power to choose—growing responsibility
  • Follow your dreams—using my gifts and talents

Field-tested in classrooms across the United States, the Safe & Caring Schools system when fully implemented has resulted in improved school climate, greater parent engagement, increased academic achievement, and reduction in discipline referrals. The teacher resources support the standards from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) for the infusion of social and emotional learning into the classroom. Those key competencies are: Awareness of Self and Others, Positive Attitudes and Values, Responsible Decision Making, and Social Interaction Skills. In addition, the material correlates with standards for social studies, language arts, health, and other areas of the curriculum.

The Activities for Building Character and Social-Emotional Learning teacher resources are essential tools for all preK–8 teachers.

“In a safe and caring school we reach out to our children emotionally so they feel they are in a safe, caring, nurturing environment where they’re able to learn. They are encouraged to tell you their problems, so we can get past that hurdle and continue in the academic process.”—Elementary teacher

View where you can purchase the eBook.


  Downloads from Activities for Building Character and Social-Emotional Learning Grades 1–2

Table of Contents
Safe & Caring Promise
Teacher Survey
Activity: Better Way to Say It
Activity: When I Get Angry
Children's Literature Supporting Activities for Building Character and Social-Emotional Learning


Minnesota Elementary School Principals Association logo

The Safe & Caring Schools series is endorsed by the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association.
  Reproducible handouts

See Icon Key    

Safe & Caring Schools

208 pages, illustrated, softcover, 8½" x 11", Educators, group leaders, and caregivers, Grades 1–2, ISBN 978-1-57542-392-0


“In order to maximize the educational experience, a student must feel safe and worthwhile. This book is a complete and comprehensive guide for educators on creating an ideal environment for children to learn. With advice on mixing in social and emotional education alongside academic curriculum, this book is an ideal guide to helping students make the most of themselves, both now and later in life. A top pick for any educator and for community library education collections.”—Library Bookwatch: The Education Shelf

“The series, organized in age-appropriate guides for preK–K, 1–2, 3–5 and 6–8, includes practical activities and a literature foundation, making it easy for teachers to infuse social and emotional learning throughout the day.”—PaperClip Communications’ Curriculum Review

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the use of conflict resolution skills among our students, a reduction in the number of inappropriate behaviors leading to disciplinary action, a noticeable change in school culture, and more parent awareness of appropriate social skills and emotional literacy skills.”
—Assistant Superintendent

Item No: 23920W

Price: $29.99


Related materials:
Activities for Building Character and Social-Emotional Learning Grades 3–5
Katia S. Petersen, Ph.D. 
Activities for Building Character and Social-Emotional Learning Grades 6–8
Katia S. Petersen, Ph.D. 
Activities for Building Character and Social-Emotional Learning PreK–K
Katia S. Petersen, Ph.D. 
No Kidding About Bullying
Naomi Drew, M.A. 
The Kids’ Guide to Working Out Conflicts
Naomi Drew, M.A. 

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