Madison Rossen

Senior Project Advisor

Georgianne Connell

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2023


Social Emotional Learning, SEL, science curriculum, lesson plan, fifth-grade, Salish Sea food web, science education


This paper provides a lesson plan for integrating Social Emotional Learning into a fifth-grade science lesson as well as an overview of the benefits of Social Emotional Learning. Social Emotional Learning, known as SEL, has recently been implemented in classrooms across the United States and research has shown that SEL improves behavior and academic performance. Integrating SEL into science curriculums is a new idea without much research done on it but from personal experience in science class and science labs, many of the SEL standards line up with skills necessary to work in the scientific fields. Embedded in the paper is a lesson plan combining a fifth-grade science standard (5-LS2-1) focusing on food webs and two SEL standards (Benchmark 1A and Benchmark 6C). The lesson consists of a food web overview for organisms living in the Salish Sea as well as two different games. One of the games is a yarn game that solidifies students' understanding of food webs; the other is a storytelling game that focuses on emotions and the food web. After teaching this lesson at a local elementary school, I found that students learned a lot from the lesson. Both games were effective in teaching students about food webs as well as emotions. However the storytelling food web/emotion game should be modified in the future to better suit fifth graders, as they appeared bored with the game.






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