HyperDocs, SEL, SEL PD

Defining Fears: An SEL HyperDoc

Earlier this week, I came across a TEDEd video called “Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of  Your Goals?” The premise of the video is:

The hard choices — what we most fear doing, asking, saying — are very often exactly what we need to do. How can we overcome self-paralysis and take action? Tim Ferriss encourages us to fully envision and write down our fears in detail, in a simple but powerful exercise he calls “fear-setting.” Learn more about how this practice can help you thrive in high-stress environments and separate what you can control from what you cannot. (TEDEd)

Click below to watch this video:

Honestly, I found this video to be fascinating for two reasons – an educational and a personal reason.

First, I found that this video is very relevant in education due to the conversations surrounding social and emotional learning (SEL). According to CASEL, SEL “is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” While this definition primarily focuses on the positive aspects of emotional intelligence, I truly believe it is helpful for students to understand and define their negative emotions and how to overcome them. Therefore, this video gave me some excellent inspiration for a HyperDoc (which I will share below!) to support students in defining and overcoming their fears.

Second, I found that this video spoke to me on a personal level. It’s true, students are not the only ones with fears and areas of growth! Ever since I was a child, I have been an overthinker and someone who struggles with fears. You name it – I’ve probably thought of the worst case scenario that could occur. However, I have definitely improved over time and it was due to a very similar approach as in this video. I would start by thinking about what I feared, how I could prevent it, and, if my worst fears were to come true, what were the possible outcomes and how could I fix it. I’ve found it to be very helpful over the years by always asking, “What’s the worst that could really happen – and how could I fix it?”

As I finished watching this video, I realized it would be a fantastic opportunity for students to stretch their SEL skills. In fact, I really wish I had gone through an activity like this at a younger age! Therefore, I created a HyperDoc that I believe would be appropriate for any age, with slight modifications, to support students in defining and overcoming their fears.

Here are some key activities in this HyperDoc:

  • ENGAGE: Students will create a collage of pictures that represent the word “fear” to them.
  • EXPLORE: Students will research and rate common fears.
  • EXPLAIN: Students will watch the TEDEd video: Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of  Your Goals?
  • APPLY: Students will complete the “Define, Prevent, Repair” activity.
  • SHARE: Students will share their slide deck with a partner for feedback and collaboration.
  • REFLECT: Students will reflect on what they have learned.

Create Your Own Copy!

If you are interested in using this HyperDoc, click on the link above to create your own copy – and it’s yours!

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this blog topic. Have you done any “fear setting” activities with your students? What other ways do you support social and emotional learning (SEL) in your classroom? Share in the comments below!

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