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Being a Good Sport

Losing a game like a good sport requires learners to act in direct contrast to how they’re feeling at that moment. We must learn good sportsmanship for broad types of losing: not knowing the answer, not being chosen, not getting our way, and the conflicts that arise when people think the rules don’t apply to them in games.

Preview an SEL skills lesson: Being a Good Sport

1 Show the video to your students

Narrator: We can’t win all the time. Sometimes when we’re playing sports or game, other people win, and that’s okay. When we lose, we need to be a good sport. Being a good sport means not complaining or getting upset when we lose. If we get upset every time we lose, people won’t want to play with us. Let’s see what happens when Serena isn’t a good sport. 

Devin: Okay, Andrew, it’s your turn.

[Andrew rolls dice.]

Andrew: Yes! Six! I’m so far ahead. 

Serena: My turn.

[Serena rolls dice.]

Serena: [Groans] I rolled a two last time! I don’t want to play this stupid game anymore!

[Serena storms out of the room.]

Narrator: How did Serena make the other players feel? Let’s see what they’re thinking. 

Andrew [thought bubble]: Why did she knock everything over? It’s just a game.

Devin [thought bubble]: We were just having fun. Next time, I’m not going to play with her. 

Narrator: How do you think Serena feels? Let’s see what she’s thinking?

Serena [thought bubble]: I’m so frustrated. I got two bad rolls. I’m never going to win.

Narrator: Serena felt frustrated, and her actions made the rest of the group upset. They were all having fun playing and Serena ruined their game. Even if we aren’t winning, we have to be a good sport and stay calm. If we get angry every time we lose, people won’t want to play with us. Let’s see what happens when Serena is a good sport. 

[Andrew rolls dice.]

Andrew: Yes! I rolled a six! I’m so far ahead.

Serena: Alright. It’s my turn.

[Serena rolls dice.]

Serena: [Groans] I rolled a two again.

Devin: Don’t worry, Serena. I’m sure you’ll do better next time.

Narrator: That time, Serena stayed calm and didn’t overreact when she was losing. Serena was a good sport. Now everyone else got to enjoy the game. We can’t win all the time, and that’s okay. Even if we don’t win, we have to be nice to the other players. There’s always next time. 

2 Review with the Companion Worksheet
3 Apply new skills with activities & games!

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Other SEL materials on Being a Good Sport
Being the Bigger Person Video
Being the Bigger Person

Pre-k and K

Being a Good Sport Discussion Questions Activity
Being a Good Sport Discussion Questions

Middle & High School