SEL in a Nutshell

A program to foster socially and emotionally healthy children through research-proven lessons and supportive classroom environments.  Every lesson follows the CASEL Framework.

SEL in a Nutshell, is an easy-to-use, time-tested, money-saving K-5 SEL program consisting of well-crafted stories and plays, purposeful games, discussions, writing, drawing, coloring, group activities and no screen time.

The focus is on helping children build positive relationships, mental well being, managing emotion and behavior.

Strong Learning helped pioneer social and emotional learning resources during the 1970’s with its Understanding People storybooks, Life Skills series and Creative Thinking workbooks, some of which sold over 1 Million Copies!

This SEL program is one of the best and easiest to implement

  • Today’s program has been updated to meet current needs and is based on over 40 years of research proven results.
  • It follows Bloom’s Taxonomy providing opportunities for children K-5 to progress and use skills at a higher order thinking level!
  • Lessons and activities take students through all six stages of Bloom’s Taxonomy to achieve higher order thinking.
  • Fully social and interactive program so children are practicing their skills as they learn them.
  • Multi-sensory learning opportunities to provide a well rounded delivery of information for the various learning styles particular to each child.
  • Multicultural content is presented to help ensure that every child feels accepted and respected.

Want to take a peak inside the SEL in a Nutshell program?

Click to access the

12 Lesson Sample pack for FREE > > > >

Click here to watch Dr. Linda’s video on the 36 best strategies for teaching SEL –>> VIDEO

Real World Benefits for Students . . . It’s in there!

Stories: Listening to stories helps children learn about others: their cultures, struggles, thoughts and feelings, helping them relate to and empathize with them emotionally and socially. 

Plays: Performing in plays provides opportunities for children to think quickly, to cope with anxiety and to “walk” in someone else’s shoes. 

Playing purposeful games: By playing games with others, children learn good sportsmanship, develop patience while waiting for their turns, develop the skills of dealing with disappointment and practice needed interpersonal skills. 

Discussions: By participating in small- or large-group discussions, children are exposed to the way others think, feel and live, in addition to learning how to communicate effectively. 

Risk-free Writing: Risk-free writing, or reacting to a situation in a story or play, provides children the opportunity to think about themselves and the world around them without the fear of right or wrong answers, grammar errors or misspellings. 

Drawing: Drawing provides the opportunity for children to express themselves non-verbally, freeing them from the constraints of language. 

Coloring: Opportunity to color provides children occasional down-time to reduce the stress they feel due to academic challenges or stressful school situations. 

Group Activities: Children learn how to cooperate by working in small or large groups. They learn how to contribute toward achieving the goals of the group by knowing how and when to assert themselves and how and when to modify their positions.

Included in the SEL in a Nutshell Program

Each school K-5 will have access to download the full program which includes: 

  • 240 lessons for K-5 (40 lessons per grade level with teacher’s guides) 
  • Parent Program 
  • Recorded training session (link for 90-minute video) approximate length. (In-person or live training via Zoom is available.) 

PLUS: Since this program is downloadable, it can be used year after year!

OPTIONAL: We recommend using Strong Learning SuperDeck games with this program or schools may choose to make up their own games.

Teacher’s Guide 

Detailed teacher’s guides, often one page per lesson, are conveniently placed in the same file sequentially with each lesson, avoiding the need to search separately. Also, for convenience, they include reduced-size student pages and a succinct reference guide in the upper right-hand corner to help teachers quickly understand the goal and the CASEL category of the lesson. 

Parent Involvement 

A packet is included that provides activities to involve parents. As we all know, in spite of the fact that parent involvement is highly desirable, it’s not always easy for parents to be involved. Therefore, to increase parental involvement, we include a variety of class activities and weekly emails that tend to increase parental involvement. 

File includes a packet of letters, notes and invitations, and 40 parent tips on where their child is developmentally. They may be sent to the parent as emails, traditional mail, and/or printed sheets for students to bring home. These are organized by grade level with suggestions when to send them during the school year.

90 Minute Training

Taught by Dr. Linda Silbert, the Strong Learning Overview to SEL- Social & Emotional Learning for K-5 will prepare your staff to start using this program in about 90 minutes. Don’t be fooled by this program’s easy implementation, when used according to Dr. Linda’s teaching, it delivers benefits beyond many other more expensive and compicated curriculum.

This is a pre-recorded, downloadable training that can be viewed on demand at any time that it is needed. Train existing staff, new staff or view the video over-and-over again.

Easy to use Grid helps the teacher quickly select a lesson based on current needs.

OPTIONAL: SuperDeck Card Games

SuperDeck Card Games for Unlimited Purposeful, Playful Practice for social and emotional development including all 5 CASEL Framework categories. 

Because card games and board games are the perfect venues to foster social and emotional skills, there are six age-appropriate SuperDeck card game decks for each grade level. Each deck has been specifically selected to help students with social awareness.  Playing various games—including go fish, memory, and bingo—with these decks, help students learn about the world around them, while getting purposeful, playful practice for real life. These are valuable opportunities for children to learn how to cooperate, how to win and lose gracefully, how to accept others’ differences, and how to make responsible decisions.

Many of these decks are also available in Spanish, French and Hebrew. Click here to see decks in Spanish/French or Hebrew. If you wish to swap-out English decks with foreign language decks, please call us at (888) 3-STRONG, we will be happy to do so.

Different from other SEL Programs

The Strong Learning SEL Program is based on Tiger Tuesday and his multicultural family using culturally responsive content to ensure that every child feels accepted and respected. It follows the Orton-Gillingham reading approach to accommodate struggling readers, and each lesson/activity is created to foster thought on a particular level of Bloom’s Taxonomy in order to develop higher order thinking skills so that children learn how to make good choices.

Children’s social and emotional skills develop through social activities including stories, plays, drawings, discussions, writing activities, coloring pictures to relax and games which are essential to learning healthy social and emotional behavior.

Note: Strong Learning SEL Program content is a research -based model aligned with the CASEL Framework, CCSS ELA standard K-5,  American School Counselor Association, New York State Social Emotional Learning Benchmarks K-5,  Connecticut State Social Emotional Learning Standards K-5, Orton-Gillingham Reading Approach.

Click here to learn more about these standards.


“As guidance counselors responsible for supporting multiple elementary classes in multiple schools, my team needed a roadmap for social emotional education that was easy to implement, inexpensive and of course it needed to be effective.  Strong Learning’s SEL in a Nutshell surpassed the trifecta requirement well above and beyond our expectations.  Thanks to this program our elementary students are receiving a strong foundation to help them develop into thoughtful and confident adults.”

Cynthia Cervini, Supervisor of Guidance Services Yorktown Central Schools from Yorktown Heights, NY

“Developing social and emotional skills in our children should be our major goal. The STRONG SEL Program is an extremely clear, easy to use and developmentally appropriate intervention for students K-5…a most exciting multisensory program which neatly weaves together strategies for personal and interpersonal growth experiences children desperately need.”

Dr. Stephanie Moses, F.A.A.P, Pediatrician from Livermore, California

The Strong Learning® SEL in a Nutshell for K-5 is available as follows:

The cost for the full SEL in a Nutshell Program is determined by the number of schools using the program. Save with multi-school discounts for your school district. Call if you require special consideration for economic or other reasons. Note: You purchase the program for each school which enables every counselor or teacher in every grade K-5 the ability to use and teach this curriculum.

Ready to learn more about The Strong Learning LEARN Method?

Call us today at (845) 628-7910 or toll free (888) 3-STRONG.

Available Courses

90 Minutes: The Strong Learning Overview to SEL- Social & Emotional Learning for K-5. A pre-recorded, downloadable, quick overview of the LEARN Method, the categories to be addressed in a SEL program, and the use of the LEARN Method in delivering it. Included FREE with the Program purchase.

3-Hour: The Strong Learning Intro to SEL-Social & Emotional Learning for K-5. Participants will be introduced to the LEARN Method and what they need to know and do when teaching any SEL program. They’ll learn how to incorporate CASEL into individual lessons and into the classroom environment. Participants will participate in and take home a variety of sample no-prep lessons. One 3- hour session. Available for an additional fee.

15-Hour (five 3-hour sessions – 3 professional development credits): The Strong Learning Teaching SEL – Social & Emotional Learning K-5. Participants will learn the skills and knowledge they’ll need to know and do to help children in K-5 become socially and emotionally healthy. Each session will be centered around one of the five objectives of the CASEL program and age-appropriate activities for students at each grade level. Available for an additional fee.

About the creators

Linda Silbert, Ph.D. — “Dr. Linda,” as her readers know her in her weekly education column, has a B.S. in elementary education majoring in Behavioral Science, an M.S. in School Counseling, and a Ph.D. in Educational Counseling/Administration. She taught third grade until having her first child, after which she and husband Al started Strong Learning, Inc., offering tutoring and test prep services for students in K-12, wrote books and developed products to foster social and emotional learning, reading, math, and study skills.

Alvin J. Silbert, Ed.D.— “Doc,” as his students knew him, taught high school physics for 37 years, during which he obtained his Ed.D., with an emphasis in cognitive development and teaching. His dissertation focused on the work of Jean Piaget.

Together, Linda and Al created two series: Creative Thinking Workbooks and a Life Skills Program, which collectively sold over a million copies. In 2007, they collaborated to write the award-winning book for parents, Why Bad Grades Happen to Good Kids, available through their website. Subsequently, they created the LEARN Method, and introduced it in a companion book for teachers, Building Strong Students: A Guide for Parents and Teachers on How to Foster an Environment Where Children Thrive Emotionally, Socially, and Cognitively.

Linda and Al live in suburban New York.