High School Social Emotional Learning Activity
See the connection between making good choices and feeling good... and making bad choices and feeling bad. Help teens learn that
1) the thrill of an irresponsible choice is temporary, and it usually turns into a negative feeling afterward
2) making a good choice may feel difficult in the moment, but the real reward of a good choice is the long-term good feeling that comes with it.
Each quote features teaching notes related to the quote. Choose a quote that relates to the activity:
1. Review the full teaching resources for the quote “Doing good feels good” (or the alternate quote, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.")
2. Discuss what a conscience is and how it helps you feel whether or not your choice is a good idea.
- A conscience is that feeling inside of you that helps you know if what you are doing aligns with what you know is right or wrong. (See "what is conscience?" definition)
- Good choices feel good. Think about how you feel when you do something nice for someone. Maybe your heart feels glowy, or you feel proud.
- Bad choices feel bad. Think of a time you did something you thought was wrong. Where did you feel it? Did your heart feel tight? Were you worried or anxious? Did you have "pangs" of guilt?
- Listen to your body- your conscience is there to remind you whether your actions line up with the type of person you want to be.
3. Compare short-term and long-term consequences.
In the moment when you are making a choice, there's a short-term and a long-term result.
- Making unhealthy choices may feel good in the moment, but there's usually a negative price to pay later.
- Making a healthy choice may be difficult in the moment. Sometimes doing the right thing isn't easy. But in the long-term, making a good choice feels good. You get the reward of feeling good about your actions and being proud of yourself for doing the right thing. Even if no one else knows what you did, your self respect and self esteem get a boost when you act in a way that lines up with the type of person you want to be. (See more on the link between making good choices and building self esteem.)
4. Discuss these real teen scenarios with choices and consequences.
Identify the feelings the teen would have had in the moment of making the choice, and the feeling that would come later. What clues does your body give you about how you'll feel in the short term, and how you'll feel in the long term?