Elementary School SEL Resources

The following is a curated list of resources selected by CASEL staff that focuses on social and emotional learning in an elementary school setting.

Also check out this curated list of articles and videos for educators that illustrate what SEL looks like in elementary setting. Explore these links to find grade-differentiated resources for professional learning and planning.

Articles and Book Chapters

Elias, M. J., Leverett, L., Duffell, J. C., Humphrey, N., Stepney, C., & Ferrito, J. (2015). Integrating SEL with related prevention and youth development approaches. In J. A. Durlak, C. E. Domitrovich, R. P. Weissberg, & T. P. Gullotta (Eds.), The Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning: Research and practice (pp. 33-49). New York: Guilford
Chapter available with purchase.
Jones, S. M., Barnes, S. P., Bailey, R., & Doolittle, E. J. (2017). Promoting social and emotional competencies in elementary school. Future of Children, 27(1), 49-72.
Chapter available with purchase.
Merrell, K. W., & Gueldner, B. A. (2010). Social and emotional learning in the classroom: Promoting mental health and academic success (Chapter 2: “Social and emotional learning curricula: A review of selected programs,” pp. 23-47). New York: Guilford Press.
Chapter available with purchase.
Meyers, D.J., Domitrovich, C.E., Dissi, R., Trejo, J., Greenberg, M. T. (2018). Supporting systemic social and emotional learning with a schoolwide implementation model. Science Direct, 73, 53-61.
Article available until April 2019.
Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., & Hulleman, C. S. (2015). SEL in elementary school settings: Identifying mechanisms that matter. In J. A. Durlak, C. E. Domitrovich, R. P. Weissberg, & T. P. Gullotta (Eds.), The Handbook for social and emotional learning: Research and practice (pp. 151-166). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Chapter available with purchase.


Cefai, C., & Cavioni, V. (2014). Social and emotional education in primary school: Integrating theory and research into practice. New York: Springer.
Book available for purchase.


CASEL (2013). Effective social and emotional learning programs: Preschool and elementary school edition. Chicago, IL: Author.
View the guide.

CASEL (2018). Schoolwide Guide to SEL. Chicago, IL: Author.
View the guide.

Devaney, E., O’Brien, M. U., Resnik, H., Keister, S., & Weissberg, R. P. (2006). Sustainable schoolwide social and emotional learning (SEL): Implementation guide and toolkit. Chicago, IL: CASEL, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Purchase the guide.
Jones, S., Brush, K., Bailey, R., Brion-Meisels, G., McIntyre, J., Kahn, J., Nelson, B., & Stickle, L. (2017). Navigating social and emotional learning from the inside out: Looking inside and across 25 leading SEL programs: A practical resource for schools and OST providers (elementary school focus). New York: Wallace Foundation.
View the guide.

Reports and Briefs

Denham, S.A., Ji, P., & Hamre, B. (2010). Compendium of preschool through elementary school social‐emotional learning and associated assessment measures. Chicago, IL: CASEL.
View the report.
Dusenbury, L., & Weissberg, R. P. (2017). Social emotional learning in elementary school: preparation for success. Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, Pennsylvania State University.
View the report.
Jones, D., Crowley, D. M., & Greenberg, M.T. (2017). Improving social emotional skills in childhood enhances long-term well-being and economic outcomes. Edna Bennet Pierce Prevention Research Center, Pennsylvania State University.
View the brief.
Payton, J. W., Weissberg, R. P., Durlak, J.A., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D., Schellinger, K.B., & Pachan, M. (2008). The positive impact of social and emotional learning for kindergarten to eighth-grade students: Findings from three scientific reviews. Chicago, IL: CASEL.
View the report executive summary.
University of California, Santa Cruz & Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2017). Building a culture of health through safe and healthy elementary school recess. Princeton, NJ: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
View the brief.


A student and educators at Marcus Garvey Elementary School in Chicago explain social and emotional learning and its impact. (5 minutes)

Inside Chicago Public Schools: SEL at Marcus Garvey Elementary School (2013). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6vS0UBGSW4
View the video.

This webinar offers an introduction to the 2013 CASEL Guide to Preschool and Elementary School social and emotional learning programs. The presenter is CASEL Senior Research Scientist Linda Dusenbury. (54 minutes)

CASEL (2014). Preschool and elementary school guide – A webinar Published in 2014. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiqkUpSebZk
View the video.