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Develop emotional intelligence in adolescents with this practical, hands-on resource.

Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students

30 Flexible Research-Based Activities to Build EQ Skills (Grades 5–9)


Helping students develop emotional intelligence (EQ) and social emotional skills is essential to preparing them for success in college, careers, and adult life. This practical resource for educators explains what emotional intelligence is and why it’s important for all students.

Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students lays out detailed yet flexible guidelines for teaching fundamental EQ and social emotional skills in an intentional and focused way. The book is split into three modules, which correspond to three main skill areas:
  • Self-awareness and self-management
  • Social awareness and relationship skills
  • Responsible decision-making and problem-solving
Each module features ten hands-on, research-based lessons, which are focused on a critical EQ concept, and is centered around productive and respectful discussion. All lessons are designed to take approximately thirty-five minutes each but can easily be adapted to meet the specific needs of a school or group as they work to develop emotional intelligence and social emotional skills in their students.

Digital content includes reproducible forms to use with students.
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Paperback $39.99 81296 Paperback 81296 $39.99

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ISBN: 978-1-63198-129-6
Audience: Educators, grades 5–9
Trim Size: 8.5" x 11"
Page Count: 192
Digital Content: Includes reproducible forms.
Praise for Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students:

“The authors’ combined experience in the field and their clear writing style makes this a good resource for any teacher, counselor, or administrator who is considering beginning a social-emotional program in their class or school. Recommended.”—School Library Connection

“This book will be a great addition to your toolkit. I cannot overstate how well-organized this book is and the potential it has to make SEL lessons practical and productive for busy teachers.”—Rita Platt, MiddleWeb

Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students provides a wonderful resource for educators to integrate emotional intelligence skills into their classrooms. From identifying emotions to building resilience, the activities in this book can help students develop into healthy, happy, and productive citizens.” —Marc A. Brackett, Ph.D., director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and professor at the Yale Child Study Center
“All teachers and other school professionals working with students in grades 5 to 9 should read this valuable volume. For experienced educators, it offers a wealth of new strategies to promote emotional intelligence; for novices, it provides an excellent and highly practical introduction to the field. Elias and Tobias have done a masterful job of translating the EQ research into, in their words, ‘pragmatic, accessible, and flexible activities.’ I will be strongly recommending this book to all my colleagues.” —Paul LeBuffe, vice president of research and development, Aperture Education
Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students is exactly what schools need to support social-emotional growth in students. Drs. Elias and Tobias provide an easy-to-understand, step-by-step guide for schools to integrate social and emotional skills building into the classroom. As school psychologists, we understand the importance of building these skills for success in school and life. This book provides everything we need to begin the process.” —John Kelly, Ph.D., president, National Association of School Psychologists, 2017–2018
“Using evidence-based lessons, engaging activities, and community-building strategies, this resource provides a valuable tool for educators to build emotional intelligence in students—an essential goal of education in the 21st century. By supporting the development of emotional intelligence, this book helps teachers prepare their students for success in careers and in life.” —Andria Amador, senior director, Behavioral Health Services, Boston Public Schools
“This is an excellent collection of engaging activities to enhance the social and emotional learning of middle school students. It is a valuable resource for educators, counselors, youth leaders, and mental health professionals who aspire to educate and inspire adolescents to become more knowledgeable, responsible, caring, and contributing members of their communities.” —Roger P. Weissberg, Ph.D., chief knowledge officer, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
“Many educators want to improve their students’ social and emotional intelligence, but don’t know how best to do so. Written by two distinguished psychologists, this wonderful book for teachers is practical, flexible, wise, and consistent with good pedagogical practice. Grounded in research on social-emotional learning and adolescent development, this book equips teachers with the basic knowledge they need to employ the lessons and tools effectively, along with exercises and language that should be attractive to their students.” —David Osher, Ph.D., vice president and AIR Institute Fellow, American Institutes for Research 
“Grounded in their conviction that EQ should be at the center of teaching and learning, the authors of Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students provide educators with thirty lessons for middle grade students. The powerful lessons on self-talk offer welcome guidance for building this lifelong skill, which strengthens resilience in students who need it most. The lessons on social roles invite students to consider the strengths they bring to their social identities, which are growing in importance and complexity during adolescence. Ultimately, all the lessons in this book promise to draw students into deeper self-awareness and closer reflection on their developing EQ skills. Definitely a key resource that educators will want on the shelf!” —Christa M. Tinari, coauthor of Create a Culture of Kindness in Middle School and director of the Peaceful Schools Institute
“There exists an important need to translate academic research into classroom practice quickly and directly. This book answers that need by presenting key ideas and activities that teachers can try out with their students immediately. I wish more resources for teachers were created by people like Drs. Elias and Tobias. Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students could have an impact on the ongoing development and implementation of social-emotional learning.” —Roisin P. Corcoran, Ph.D., associate professor of education at UCD and coauthor of Developing Emotionally Competent Teachers: Emotional Intelligence and Pre-Service Teacher Education
Does Emotional Intelligence Matter?

Our current students are living in a complex, information-rich world filled with many stressors, and in that world, they are going to need social-emotional skills—also known as emotional intelligence (EQ) skills. What are these skills? They include three main areas:

1. Self-awareness and self-management
  • The ability to assess and know one’s own emotions, values, and capabilities (both strengths and weaknesses)
  • The ability to cope with emotions and maintain self-control
  • The ability to persevere to achieve a goal
2. Social awareness and relationship skills
  • The ability to understand others and empathize with an awareness of individual and group similarities and differences
  • The ability to communicate effectively, both in perceiving others’ messages and expressing oneself
  • The ability to work cooperatively with others
3. Responsible decision-making and problem-solving
  • The ability to establish positive goals
  • The ability to implement effective behaviors to achieve those goals
  • The ability to resolve interpersonal conflicts constructively
We all know smart kids who make poor choices, kids with generous hearts who have trouble making friends, sensitive kids who can be hurtful to others, and kids with great potential who struggle to harness their abilities and direct them positively. These kids, and all our students, can benefit from further development of their EQ skills, which they will need when negotiating everyday challenges large and small.

But there is more.

Continue reading on the Free Spirit Blog.
How to Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students
A Free Webinar with Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., and Steven E. Tobias, Psy.D.

Join Free Spirit’s edWeb community, Social-Emotional Learning, Positive Behavior, and Student Achievement, to take a short quiz based on the webinar below and earn a free CE credit.

Related Resources

Strategies and activity ideas to support emotional development in children.
Responding to Student Trauma
Create a Culture of Kindness in Elementary School
Social Emotional Stories: Lessons and Learning from Plants and Animals
Inspiring Student Empowerment: Moving Beyond Student Engagement, Refining Differentiation
30 hands-on lessons provide students opportunities to learn and practice self-regulation strategies
A practical and inspiring guide to help students master critical social and emotional skills.
PBIS Team Handbook Revised 2019
How and Why to Get Students Talking (TEST)
Create a Culture of Kindness in Middle School
The 6Rs of Bullying Prevention
Self-Regulation in the Classroom

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