Social and Emotional Developmental Expectations in
Late Elementary School Aged Children
This is the second part of a two part post regarding social and emotional developmental expectations in elementary school. The first post focused on early elementary school (K - 2) and this post focuses on late elementary school (3 - 5).
Late Elementary School (3-5)
Describe self by characteristics and tendencies
Start to describe and explain thoughts & feelings more in depth
More realistic in self-assessments
Start to be aware of the coming changes in puberty
Become more balanced in coping with frustration or failure
Describe steps of setting and working toward a goal
Can demonstrate conflict resolution skills with peers, including talking through issues
Identify more complex verbal, physical & situational cues indicating how others feel
Demonstrate knowledge of social customs for when and to whom certain emotions are appropriate to express
Acknowledge other people’s perspectives
May modify behavior as a result of realizing the impact their behavior has on others
Interested in group activities.
May collect things or start a hobby
Peer relationships have gained importance, however connections to family and home are still strong
Communicate needs, wants and emotions in healthy ways
Can participate in games with more abstract rules and can make up elaborate fantasy games and situations
Have a more fleshed out understanding of friendship - able to look at qualities in a friend, can start to evaluate friendships
Responsible Decision Making
Identify a more complex range of decisions they make throughout their lives
Can discuss pros and cons of a choice
Can have conversations about more complex choices and see nuances
Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). Enhancing students’ social and emotional development promotes success in school: Results of a meta-analysis. Child Development, 82, 405-432.,
National Education Goals Panel. (1995). The national education goals report: Building a nation of learners. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
National Research Council. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
National Research Council. (2012). Education for life and work: Developing transferable knowledge and skills in the 21st century. Committee on Defining Deeper Learning and 21st Century Skills, J. W. Pellegrino & M. L. Hilton (Eds). Board on Testing and Assessment and Board on Science Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Zins, J. E., Weissberg, R. P., Wang, M. C., & Walberg, H. J. (Eds.). (2004). Building academic success on social and emotional learning: What does the research say? New York, NY: Teachers College Press.