The Ice House Educator Guide

This guide was created to support educators in introducing students to The Ice House.  Along with consulting with subject matter experts, the author utilized her training and expertise in childhood education to determine questions that would balance rigorous CCSS alignment with the critical Social Emotional Learning content our middle school students need most.

The resulting questions engage and challenge students academically while simultaneously prompting classroom conversations that are pivotal to students' SEL growth. 

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Social Emotional Learning 

The Ice House Educator Guide was designed to specifically address Social Emotional Learning competencies.  The CASEL framework includes competencies of Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision Making. You can learn more about the framework here


The guide includes questions that address each of these competencies.  To learn more about  why the CASEL competencies matter for middle school students, this article written by AnnaLisa Mackey MEd is especially informative. 

Integrating SEL into literacy for middle school students makes sense for many reasons.  In short, the issues that Louisa and Luke encounter in The Ice House have major parallels to middle school students' own lives and experiences.  It only makes sense to address these parallels intentionally and as a part of in class discussions or written responses.  

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SEL + Literacy 

When selecting books for middle school students, we have an opportunity to choose stories and characters that can comfort readers.  Seeing characters face challenges that real middle schoolers experience everyday creates an automatic connection that can be leveraged to foster engaging and craft-specific literacy instruction. The following list provides resources specific to intertwining SEL and Literacy instruction.