'Self-control (fruit of the Spirit)' photo (c) 2012, Sarah Joy - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

My drumbeat here on this blog and in my books is about the importance of connecting Social Emotional Learning and literacy instruction.

It’s so easy to do, and I’m amazed that so many SEL strategies don’t make that explicit connection.

Here’s a short lesson I’m doing tomorrow that illustrates that connection:

I always teach a lesson on self-control using the famous marshmallow experiment during the first week of school (see “I Like This Lesson Because It Make Me Have a Longer Temper”). And I regularly due quick lessons as refreshers, which you can read about at The Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control.

Today, I found a great short video on this topic by Nobel-Prize winner James Heckman, which is embedded below and which I’ll show my ninth-grade English classes.

Since we’ve also been working a lot on writing — specifically on AWPE-style writing prompts (see Writing Prompts — Feel Free To Contribute Your Own!) — I’m going to have them write a short (not essay length) response to this prompt:

In the video, how does Dr. John Heckman define “soft skills” and why does he say they are important? To what extent do you agree with him? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, anything you have read, and information from the video.

Bam! Two birds with one stone — a review of the importance on self-control and practice responding to an academic writing prompt. I’m figuring the whole thing will take up twenty minutes, including a quick sharing in partners.

Works for me, works for them….