Teaching Resilience to Students at the Elementary Level in 2022

If you are an elementary teacher looking to learn how to help your students be resilient, then you found the right place! Reliciency skills prepare kids to persevere through challenging situations and learn lessons from them. Students who are able to be resilient have better problem solving and reflective skills than students who are not. In this post, we’ll go into detail about what resilience is and why it’s important. In addition, we’ll share tips and ideas for teaching resiliency skills to students at the elementary level. Read all about helping students be resilient in and out of the classroom below!

What Does Resilience Mean?

Resiliency is the ability to recover quickly from difficult situations and not give up when doing something challenging. Kids who are resilient can face challenges and difficult situations without giving up or shutting down. The bounce back when challenged.

Why is it Important for Kids to Be Resilient?

It is important for kids to be resilient because challenges are consistently a part of life. Kids who can be resilient during challenges will have the skills they need to face difficult situations without becoming discouraged.

How Do I Know If I Need to Teach Resilience in My Classroom?

The students in your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th grade classroom would benefit from resilience lessons and activities if any of these statements are true:

  • Students give up easily.
  • Students have a hard time bouncing back from arguments.
  • Students struggle to forgive others.
  • Moral in your classroom has gone down.
  • Recess and other unstructured times have become challenging for your students.

4 Reasons To Promote Resilience In Your Elementary Classroom

Below are 4 reasons to promote resilience in your elementary classroom.

1. Resiliency can help students manage stress and anxiety

Anyone who is going through something challenging or frustrating can feel stressed and anxious. Teaching resilience and how to bounce back after challenges also teaches students how to manage their stress and anxiety that comes with problems they have faced. These strategies could look like deep breathing, journaling and mindfulness. 

2. Students can learn to help others 

Students who are learning about resilience and are struggling with empowering themselves, can feel better when they help others. This is a stepping stone towards getting them to realize they can help themselves too. If you create opportunities for students to help others, this will transfer to their own resilience. 

3. Students will create stronger connections with each other 

As students learn resilience they will learn strategies for making themselves bounce back after adversity. One great way to do that is through connections and friendships with others. Spending time with friends and other positive people in their lives can help them be resilient. 

4. Students will learn self-care

Part of being resilient is taking the time to take care of yourself after facing a challenge or disappointment. Through learning resiliency students will take time to learn how to cheer themselves up and make themselves feel better. They might learn that they enjoy taking a walk, coloring, or playing with one of their classmates.  

5 Tips and Ideas for Teaching Resilience

Below are tips and ideas for teaching resilience to elementary students.

1. Read Aloud Picture Books about Resilience

Picture books are a great way to introduce and teach an SEL topic. It gets students thinking about the topic and activating their background knowledge. Check out this list of picture books for teaching resilience!

2. Watch Videos about Resilience

There are tons of free online videos out there that promote social emotional learning. It’s a fun and engaging way to teach SEL skills that your students will enjoy. Check out these videos for teaching resilience!

Vocabulary words can help students develop understanding of resilience and create connections through related words. Our resiliency SEL unit includes ten vocabulary cards with words related to the SEL topic. It is important for students to be able to see, hear, and use relevant vocabulary while learning. One idea for how to use them is to create an SEL word wall as students learn the words.

4. Provide Practice Opportunities

When learning any skill, students need time to practice. Social emotional learning skills are no different! Our resiliency SEL unit includes scenario cards, discussion cards, choice boards, games, and much more. These provide students with opportunities to practice the skills independently, with partners or small groups, or as a whole class.

5. Integrate Other Content Areas

Integrating other content areas with this topic is a great way to approach this SEL topic. Our resiliency SEL unit includes reading, writing, and art activities.

Resiliency SEL UnitSocial Emotional Learning Units Bundle

In closing, we hope you found this information about teaching resilience to elementary students helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts.

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