SEL & Beyond: Self-Awareness HeART Project Strategy

SEL & Beyond: Self-Awareness HeART Project Strategy


Grades K–12
Competencies addressed: Self-Awareness – Relationship Skills

Heart drawing with different colored sections representing valued people/things


Support students to identify what they love and value. Create connections with classmates and teachers by sharing their finished project. This is a quick and easy way for students to feel seen and heard. 


  • Provide students with heart handout, cut out or with instructions to draw their own.
  • For online instruction, provide students with a heart outline digitally.


  • Tell students that they can draw or write what they love and value. 
  • Teacher can show an example of their completed heart project. 
  • Students share their hearts with classmates in pairs.

SEL Sentence Frames

*These are suggested sentence frames. Feel free to differentiate for your students’ language proficiency levels.

Grades K–2

“I love _________.”

“What makes me happy is __________.”

Grades 3–5

“I value _____________.”

“What matters to me is _______.”

Grades 6–12 

“I value ___________ because ____________.”

“I love _____________ because____________.”

“___________ is important to me because _______________.”

“I chose _____________ because _______________________.”

“I care about ___________ because _____________________.”

Student Reflection

How did you feel doing this activity?

What did you like about this activity?

What did you learn about a classmate?

Opportunities for Differentiation

Support English Language Learners by allowing them to describe or label the heart in their first language.

Challenge students by using more specific vocabulary. 

Expand the lesson by having students find classmates with similarities in their hearts.

Gamify the lesson by playing “Whose heart is this?” 

Integrate the arts by having students act out the things that they love.

Adapt to online format by creating  and sharing hearts digitally.

Teachers’ Lounge

  • This has the potential to be a high vulnerability activity; allow students the freedom to pass on sharing verbally. 
  • Celebrate the students’ ability to share, and give specific and meaningful feedback about what they’ve created.

See also:

Other SEL strategies, including:

SEL & Beyond: A Dynamic Introduction to Social and Emotional Learning and Its Core Competencies
Join SEL experts Trisha DiFazio and Allison Roeser for a free, 6-part SEL workshop!

Introduction to Social and Emotional Learning, the first chapter of this series.

The next chapters in this series:

Infobase’s SEL Packages for All Levels: Instant Trial Access
Access content supporting the five competencies of social and emotional learning.

About the Authors

Trisha DiFazio

Trisha DiFazio is an author, education consultant, and former adjunct professor in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California (USC). She is passionate about empowering teachers and students around Social and Emotional Learning, Cultural Responsiveness, and Mindfulness.




Allison Roeser

Allison Roeser, Master of Health Science (MHS) and Professional Certified Coach (PCC), has almost two decades of experience working with leaders in education, child welfare, and social change. As an avid learner of mindfulness practices, Allison has seen firsthand the value of integrating self-awareness into professional and personal development.