Subject: SEL (Social-Emotional Learning)

Lesson Length: 15 - 20 mins

Topic: Building Strong Relationships

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Through this sample comic, students will learn to use compassionate words when apologizing.

Know Before You Start: Students should have some understanding of what a good apology looks like.

Hook: Discuss the best ways to apologize. Is just saying “I’m sorry” a good apology? Why or why not? Remind students that an apology should be reflective and detailed about their regret. 

Review the components of a proper apology: 

  • Reflect on what happened. 

  • Accept ownership for your mistake(s).

  • Rephrase what you meant to say now that you have regret. 

  • Ask the person you hurt how to make it better. 

  • Understand that the victim may still be frustrated.

Activity: Read the sample comic as a class or independently.

  • In small groups, have students discuss how they would apologize for each of the comic scenarios using the five steps of apologizing mentioned above. Model an example if necessary:

“I’m sorry I took the book you were reading and accidentally tore its cover. I wanted your attention and you weren’t giving it to me as fast as I think I should have gotten it. I overreacted. I should have let you come to me when you were ready and not distracted you from reading. Can I do anything to make this better? It’s OK if you’re still upset with me.”

Closure: Have students share their sample comic apologies with the whole group. Reflect on how students may use different words or emotions to say a similar type of apology.


  • Display visual representation of proper apology components. 

  • Act out or model a scenario and proper apology. 

  • Provide sentence frames as needed.