Years have passed since the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were first introduced, prompting educators and policy makers throughout the country to more closely examine and revise academic standards to ensure that, at the end of their K-12 education, all students leave school prepared to be fully contributing citizens to our democratic society. As a result, there has finally been long overdue attention to the importance of knowledge-rich curricula and instruction.

But something is still missing. One has only to look at the lack of civil discourse evident everywhere these days between individuals and groups, where shouting matches and physical confrontation become increasingly commonplace. What may be missing in school instruction is the failure to teach social skills.


The Stop and Think Songbook CDTo that end, the Core Knowledge Foundation has just made a set of Preschool Social Skills Posters available for free download. These posters identify important social skills that can be taught in a step-by-step manner. Educators and homeschoolers who want to introduce these social skills to young children in an engaging manner may also be interested in purchasing The Stop and Think Songbook CD.

Teaching social skills must, of course, extend beyond preschool. The steps described in the free downloadable Social Skills Posters are based on the more comprehensive Stop and Think Social Skills Program for Preschool – Grade 8. We encourage you to examine these additional resources, including a guide for parents, available for purchase from our partner, Project Achieve.

7 comments on “Is THIS Missing from your High Quality, Knowledge-Rich Instruction?”

  1. 1
    SANDRA HUNTER on November 3, 2020

    I like the thought of social skills being taught in school.

  2. 2
    Eric H on January 26, 2021

    Social skills do need to be taught throughout a student’s educational career, however, as the post says it isn’t part of the curriculum. I would suggest the importance of social skills is another reason for increasing Physical Education. In fact, the 4th National Standard for Physical Education is “The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others” according to https://convention.shapeamerica.org/standards/pe/ . Physical Education and team activities are where older students learn how to be good teammates, employees, and friends.

  3. 3
    Amara Smith on January 28, 2021

    When I taught pre-k, social skills were the most important skill we taught. I found it very absurd when I got to middle school that no one let these students speak. I felt like if I did not have a silent class that I would be marked down on my evaluation. I wanted to come up with a way to allow social interaction in my classrom. I am still working on this. It is difficult to teach and allow for student interaction at this age. They cannot control the conversation and have a difficult time turning the conversation off when it is time. I would love to hear how other middle school teachers implement social skills in their classrooms.

  4. 4
    Sabrina B on March 24, 2021

    Social Skills are absolutely critical to student development. Unfortunately, the only time social skills are taught to them in our school community is if they require assistance from guidance or are part of a program meant to develop skills. For example, an elementary student was having issues with anxiety during her kindergarten year and was handed over to Guidance. Guidance placed her in “group lunches” meant to help her develop her social skills. Once her panic attacks abated, she was pulled from the “group lunch” program and expected to continue her education without any issues. However, the following year, it started over again. Social skills should be taught continuously and integrated into curriculum and instruction, so I believe these resources are incredibly valuable.

  5. 5
    Amanda on July 21, 2021

    Social Skills are a key to a child’s development. These skills begin from birth and are learned from interaction among family members, outside life, and then in school. What a child learns at home carries them into their school life. I believe that when a child starts preschool it is a vital time to start introducing social skills, and social-emotional well-being. Too often we focus on what a child is learning solely based on what we can show on a test. I think often we as adults forget that our students are just little people that have big emotions and have yet to learn how to deal with them constructively. We as adults have bad days and can deal with it in a magnitude of ways ranging from not talking to people, binge-watching tv, drinking a glass of wine, or screaming into our pillows. We have learned how to deal with situations. Students/children however have not learned these skills and I think it is vital to help them find their voice when dealing with big emotions. Teaching social/social-emotional skills could and should be an amazing assist in any curriculum.

  6. 6
    Beverley Pierre-Louiks on September 21, 2021

    Can we discuss that having good social skill make good citizens. Teaching social skill is a good way to maintain social connections. This will improve mental health to form health relationships and improve learning.

  7. 7
    Beverley A Pierre-Louis on September 21, 2021

    Can we discuss that having good social skill make good citizens. Teaching social skill is a good way to maintain social connections. This will improve mental health to form health relationships and improve learning.

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