Rock Digi – More Info about the Rock World Empathy – SEL and Global Studies Curriculum for Grades 7-9
As schools are implementing social and emotional learning in all aspects of their operations, integrating SEL with instructional practices and academic content has become a growing priority.
Although SEL is generally thought to be part of guidance or counseling curriculum, SEL can be incorporated into many different other lessons for other subjects, and help students to get a deeper understanding of both subjects. Social emotional learning might not seem to fit with other school subjects at first glance, but in instances where students might not understand a concept or lesson, different social emotional skills such as perseverance, hope, and asking for help are skills that can help to better understand what was giving a student confusion and frustration.
Rock Digi’s Rock World Empathy – SEL and Global Studies curriculum for Grades 7-9 combines the subjects of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Social Studies. Within this curriculum, we cover topics such as: empathy, media literacy, economics, and culture. This curriculum can be found at rockdigi.org
This curriculum is based on three questions:
- Could you control what continent or country you were born in?
- Could you control who your parents are?
- Could you control if you were raised rich or poor?
And based on your answers to these questions, how does that help you to be more empathetic towards people who are different from you?
When this curriculum was created, it was all based around the song used in the first lesson, which is called, “I Am Rock World Empathy.” This song was written about how even though people around the world might have differences, we have a lot of similarities and are connected as global citizens. This song’s message of empathy has since been translated, sung, and recorded in 24 different languages so people around the world can understand its message (Songs can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, and anywhere you stream music).
Each lesson starts off with the Existing Knowledge activity, which includes 5 multiple choice questions for students to answer to give educators an idea of the existing knowledge that the students have about the lesson topic. Students can answer these questions on their own devices and the system automatically checks the answers that the students submit, and provides a report on students’ answers for the educator.
Next, students watch a whiteboard animation, which introduces the topics and the concepts of the lesson. In this curriculum, whiteboard animations are 3-4 minutes long. We chose to use whiteboard animations because they increase retention as students are anticipating what is being illustrated.
Following the lesson’s whiteboard animation, each lesson has a lyric music video. Each lesson includes an original song written towards the concepts of the lesson. Each music video also includes displaying of the lyrics as they are being sung so students have the opportunity to absorb the information visually as well as auditorily.
Using music to teach SEL with Social Studies really gives us the opportunity to make learning interactive and encourages student-led discussions, interactions, and teamwork. The use of music will help students take their understanding even further by creating an emotional connection to the topics being taught. Students will then be able to create bonds with each other through their love of music and those emotional connections. This gives students from all backgrounds and cultures the opportunity to connect on a deeper level and create a caring community and an environment that helps all students succeed.
After students have learned about the topics through the whiteboard animation and lyric music video, students are then given the chance to share with each other their thoughts in the discussion questions. This really gives students the opportunity to connect with other students. For this age level, we suggest having students complete the discussion questions by splitting up into small groups, and then having those small groups share what they discussed with the large group. However, students are also able to answer the questions individually and submit their answers in a text box under the questions. Their answers will then be submitted to the educator when they click next to go to the next activity in the lesson.
Next, educators get the opportunity to really tailor the lesson to fit the needs of their students. The Drill Down activities allow for differentiated instruction so that all students get the opportunity to fully understand the concepts. For this age level, we really tried to supply a variety of activities for each lesson that allow for students to work together or individually to express themselves creatively, continue discussion, play games, and other ways to further their understanding of the topics.
The last thing students will complete in the classroom is the Exit Ticket activity. This consists of the same 5 multiple choice questions as the Existing Knowledge activity at the beginning of the lesson. This helps educators to track student learning from the beginning of the lesson to the end of the lesson.
After completing the lesson in the classroom, the parents and guardians of the students will receive an email with a link to click on to complete the School Home Partnership. The School Home Partnership activity consists of having students watch the whiteboard animation with their parent or guardian and then answering two questions together. We created this activity to be a small time commitment for families, but still sparks those important conversations at home. This also helps to create consistency between school and home.
Our goal with this curriculum is that students gain the skills needed to be more empathetic and understand that people’s uniqueness is what makes us beautiful.
Below are a list of topics covered in Rock Digi’s Rock World Empathy – SEL and Global Studies curriculum for Grades 7-9.
- World Empathy
- Causes of Inequalities
- Responsibilities of Global Citizens
- Media Literacy
- Laws, Treaties, and Agreements
- Where You Wanna Live?
- Economic Decision Making
- Culture – Economics
- Culture – Trade Policies
- Global Economy
- Push and Pull Factor
Please feel free to watch our preview videos for each of the lessons below or on our YouTube channel – Rock In Prevention – Pat McManus! You can also view our Free Trial Lesson for this curriculum at rockdigi.org
If you have any questions about how to get this Rock Digi curriculum for your school, please feel free to contact us, we would be happy to help!
Lesson Preview Videos:
Lesson 1 - World Empathy:
Lesson 2 - Causes of Inequalities:
Lesson 3 - Responsibilities of Global Citizens:
Lesson 4 - Media Literacy:
Lesson 5 - Laws, Treaties, and Agreements:
Lesson 6 - Where You Wanna Live?
Lesson 7 - Economic Decision Making:
Lesson 8 - Culture - Economics:
Lesson 9 - Culture - Trade Policies:
Lesson 10 - Global Economy:
Lesson 11 - Push and Pull Factors of Migration:
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