How to Teach Respect to Pre-K Students: SEL Lesson and Activities

Pre KindergartenLesson: 403

How to Teach Respect to Pre-K Students: SEL Lesson and Activities

Starting the lesson with a puppet show, a confession comes out of Squeak the hedgehog puppet—a class Code of Conduct is not enough! He tells Mimi, his other hedgehog puppet friend, that they need to have their personal code that they can live by no matter what. "What a great idea," says Mimi!

In this lesson, the whole class creates their own Code of Conduct! But first, they listen to the story of their friends, Droid and Dude, titled "What Is Respect?" Mama Amore helps them understand that respect means treating others as important.

After the story, the class participates in a finger play that helps them remember what respect is and what it feels like to respect someone. To keep the lesson engaging, the "Droid," “Dude,” and “Mama Amore” visual aids are posted.

"Creating healthy relationships with others, starting with respect, can provide pre-kindergartners with a sense of belonging, which improves their mental health and builds their self-concept. They can also create a positive social network that can support them to reach their full potential."

The teacher then displays the "Code of Conduct" poster and distributes activity sheets to the students to help them create their own Code of Conduct. One by one, they interactively discuss each positive action to include in their personal code.

The pre-kindergartners understand that their own code is their guide to treating others the way they like to be treated. Finally, the students realize that respecting and treating others the way they like to be treated makes them feel good about themselves. They promise to respect others, then they mark the "Respect" column in their Positive Behavior Chart for Unit 4, which is first introduced to them in this lesson.

Pre-kindergartners interact with social groups on a daily basis—their family, classmates, and playmates. In the future, they will have more social groups and each will have an impact on their health and success. Therefore, it is important for them to learn how to respect others and practice healthy relationship skills at an early age.

Creating healthy relationships with others, starting with respect, can provide pre-kindergartners with a sense of belonging, which improves their mental health and builds their self-concept. They can also create a positive social network that can support them to reach their full potential.

By helping them create their personal Code of Conduct, this lesson helps pre-kindergartners gain healthy relationship skills which is one of the five SEL core competencies. It aims to help the students learn the positive actions that they can take and follow to treat others the way they want to be treated. Other advantages of showing respect and having relationship skills include preventing bullying, increasing school safety, and improving behavior.

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