This SEL framework for arts integration will help you integrate the arts with SEL.  You will reach your SEL goals AND integrate the arts.  Win. Win.

But it’s actually not only about the integration…

SEAL is WAY more than that. It is an entire framework that empowers teachers to reach and teach their students.  The framework consists of 3 phases or waves and in this video I’m going to take you through all 3!

Let’s get started!

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Are you looking for a framework that will help you reach your SEL goals AND integrate the arts?  Then it’s time to look at SEAL, Social-Emotional Artistic Learning. But it’s actually not only about the integration…

Integrating the arts with SEL is one of the most effective ways to help students develop their social emotional skills.  But SEAL is WAY more than that. It is an entire framework that I created to empower teachers to reach and teach their students.  The framework consists of 3 phases or waves and today I’m going to take you through all 3!

Wave 1 is all about developing a SEAL Teacher Mindset.

Here’s the thing…  YOU are the most important part of your classroom.  You do everything from creating and delivering your lessons to making sure your students are all finding success.  So, the first step to really empowering yourself as a SEAL teacher is to look at your own mindset.

In this first wave we look at what are you doing inside your classroom to make sure you reach and teach your students, how you cultivate an environment that fosters BOTH artistic creation and social-emotional development.

See being a SEAL teacher is way more than allowing for creativity in the classroom, you also need to show you care and make connections with your students.

It’s also about how you set up your space, how you use your voice and how you approach student learning.

Notice I keep mentioning SEAL Teachers?  Ya! Teaching SEAL is something you can actually train for because, as you’re discovering, it’s not just about integrating the arts with SEL.  Being a SEAL Teacher is so much more and you can learn some more about that in this video about the 3Cs of every SEAL Teacher.

The second Wave is about SEAL Teacher Methods.

Here’s my favorite part about SEAL…  It is not a program. That means there is no book to implement or scripts to read, no videos your students need to watch and no set sequence to follow.

Instead, through your SEAL Teacher Training, you develop the right methods that work for you and your students.

For example, maybe you see your students only once a week?  Or maybe you see them every day. Perhaps you have small groups of students that you see on a regular basis or maybe  you only see students as needed.

With SEAL, you get to learn all the SEAL Streams that provide you with ways to implement SEAL into your particular teaching and learning situation.

These 4 SEAL Streams are:

Embedded Activities, Consistent Practice, Larger SEAL Lessons and SEAL Club.

Embedded Activities are those that can be integrated into your day seamlessly.  You will do these types of activities over and over again. You can use them as check-ins for your students and also as a means for classroom management.

For example, you can use dance and movement activities to help your students to transition from one thing to the next.  There are many ways to allow students of all ages: pre-K through high school to move in age-appropriate ways. Because, let’s face it, movement at the elementary level is not going to look the same as movement in 8th grade.   However, movement is important at every level to help students regulate their bodies and get their brains ready for learning.

Then, there’s the SEAL Stream of consistent practice.  That means, you find a consistent time that works for your teaching schedule and your groups of students to work on particular skills they need.  This is often done through a teacher favorite Friendly Fridays.

Friendly Fridays are a way to promote social-awareness, relationship building and creativity.  In my classroom each week, students randomly and secretly choose another person in the class and then create a note or small piece of visual art to give to that person.  They love it! Each week they look forward to sharing a new message or creation with a classmate and it brings everyone’s spirits up.

This work is so appreciated across grade levels. I mean let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to get a nice note or something special from a classmate?

The 3rd SEAL Stream is the larger SEAL Lessons where you can really dig deep into the integration of art forms and social-emotional competencies.

And finally, SEAL Club is a great way to target students who are in need of some SEL development through art.  I usually run a SEAL Club for about 5-6 weeks and only with a small group of 6-9 students.

Through these SEAL Streams, you are able to be flexible with how you use SEAL to fully reach and teach your students.

The third and final SEAL Wave is where you learn about and implement all the SEAL Integrations.

This is the fun part!

This is where you get to think:

Do you have a class that loves to move, but just can’t work well together?  Then, let’s look at SEAL lessons that address social-awareness and dance elements!

Maybe you have students that love to draw, but just can’t seem to focus?  Let’s check out strategies that help them become more self-aware through visual art!

Do you have a jittery class that has a hard time getting to work?  Let’s check out some music strategies that will help your students to self-manage and get down to business!

There are so many applications that SEAL can have in your teaching!

For example, just last year, I had a class that loved visual art and also struggled a lot with anxiety, so I was able to couple some self-awareness skills with visual art projects.  We used color to talk about emotions and how to work through the emotions that are difficult so that we can get to a place that is relaxed and focused.

This year, I still have a lot of kids with anxiety, but I’m noticing that music is a lot more helpful for them than visual art, so that’s where we put a lot of focus.

Now, if this all sounds great and you want to learn more about SEAL, awesome!  Get your hands on the free SEAL Starter Kit, where you can dive deep into much of what SEAL has to offer.  It contains information on how visual arts, music, drama and dance naturally integrate with each of the social-emotional competencies.  In addition, it has 4 activities to try, 2 SEAL lessons and my favorite SEAL tool to use. The link for the free download it under this video.


SEAL has been a game changer for me and I can’t wait to continue sharing more and more about it with YOU!

Now, you know the drill…  if you like this video, please let me know by liking it below, subscribe and share it with your teacher friends… or even your administration!  And comment below if this video was helpful to you and let me know what ideas you liked the best from it. I look forward to seeing your responses and engaging with you in the comments.

And don’t forget to get  your own copy of the SEAL Starter Kit!

I’m Elizabeth Peterson, thanks so much for watching. And remember to keep inspiring yourself so that you can be inspiring to your students.


Download this free resource: SEAL Starter Kit

Learn how visual art, music, drama and dance are integrated with all 5 SEL competencies.  Included are 4 activities to try, 2 complete SEAL Lessons and 1 SEAL tool you will want to use over and over.  You will know how to Teach SEAL in no time! 

SEAL TEACHER TRAINING: Do you want to learn all about what it means to be a SEAL Teacher?  Get all the info about the mindset and methods behind how to Teach SEAL! Go to to learn more and to be notified when the next SEAL Teacher Training begins.

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