Lesson Changes

Lesson Summary of changes to lesson content
1. About Strong Kids/Teens The concept of emotions is introduced in here, rather than in Lesson 2. Introduces a broader scope of emotional vocabulary and real-life children modeling emotions. Introduces the concept of concurrent emotions. Introduces mindfulness-based focusing activities.
2. Understanding Your Emotions (1) Introduces the concept of physical feelings associated with emotions. Normalizes feelings of discomfort. Includes strategies to promote mindfulness of emotions, thoughts, and physical feelings.
3. Understanding Your Emotions (2) Introduces the concept of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors interacting. Includes discussion of the ways in which behaviors communicate emotions, including helpful and unhelpful behaviors. Includes discussion of avoidance or repression of feelings. Considers the context in the expression of emotions. The way we show how we are feeling depends on where we are, who we are with, what we want/need in the situation.
4. Understanding Other People’s Emotions This lesson is now sequenced before the lesson on anger to provide more instruction on empathy and alternative perspectives first. Introduces enhanced distinctions between empathy and sympathy. Includes enhanced discussion and role-play in perspective taking.
5. Dealing with Anger Frames the reaction to anger as a range of choices. Introduces the option of not reacting when experiencing anger. Includes concepts pertaining to complex emotions. Anger can be experienced along with emotions like sadness or jealousy.
6. Clear Thinking (1) "Thinking errors" are now defined as "thinking traps." Introduces two new cognitive distortions or thinking traps: "All alone," the feeling that one’s experiences are so unique that no one else could possibly understand; and "broad brush," overgeneralizing from one experience, often at play in the development of stereotypes. Addresses another cognitive distortion, the belief that one’s thoughts are reality.
7. Clear Thinking (2) Introduces the concept of "snowball effect"; i.e., one thinking trap can lead to more thinking traps or an accumulation of pessimistic thinking. Includes scenarios that address perfectionistic thinking; an example pertains to perfectionistic thoughts about body image. Includes discussion about identifying patterns or habits of thought, in addition to intensity as a way to identify distorted perceptions, Includes more concrete analogies and images to help students understand the concept of reframing.
8. Solving People Problems Emphasizes respectful and responsible choices about personal behavior based on social norms, realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others. Includes expanded options to resolving conflicts using a problem-solving model. Includes gray areas or less clear-cut examples.
9. Letting Go of Stress Reframes stress, shifting from a perception that the stressor is always harmful to one that stress can pose a healthy challenge. Illustrates how to evaluate expectations as realistic or unrealistic. Includes procrastination and avoidance. Includes more activities to help students cope with stress; e.g., nature, physical activity, deep breathing, diet.
10. Positive Living Replaces the previous edition’s Positive Thinking lesson. Includes ways to promote a sense of personal control and facilitate the development of healthy habits and activities across school, home, and community settings. Provides students with the opportunity to assess their daily routines and whether or not they are helpful. Introduces the concepts of balance and evaluating actions that may have short-term and/or long-term benefits.
11. Creating Strong & Smart Goals Introduces setting SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and timely) goals. Promotes self-assessment in areas of physical and emotional health and school, family, and community connections. Identification of personal strengths and areas for growth. Emphasizes effort and a growth mindset to facilitate determination and perseverance after setbacks.
12. Finishing UP! Provides more integration of critical concepts found across all lessons. Promotes awareness of when help may be needed. Includes a section on accessing community resources and where to go for help. Emphasizes resilience and persistence.

New lesson components: What’s different across the lessons?

The lessons continue to follow a standardized format, but we added several standard sections to all the lessons.

  • SEL competencies. See the section below for more information Jump to SEL Competencies
  • Running short on time? Offers suggestions for how to segment the lessons.
  • Instructor reflection. Allows users to reflect on their personal experiences with the skills taught in each lesson to develop a deeper understanding of the content. This deeper understanding can lead to greater self-efficacy, which can result in enhanced student outcomes.
  • Introductory mindfulness-based focusing activity. See section on mindfulness-based activities for more information [insert hyperlink here]
  • Putting it all together. Integrating key concepts in a culminating application activity.
  • Closing breathing activity. See section on mindfulness-based activities for more information [insert hyperlink here]
  • Additional activities. Promote generalization and maintenance of skills across settings and time.