What is Harmony and How Does It Work? Best Tips and Tricks

(Image credit: Harmony)

Harmony is a social-emotional learning (SEL) tool that is built for the classroom and beyond to help students learn and develop social and emotional skills.

This research-based tool was created with National University as a learning program for Pre-K-6 students to facilitate social and emotional growth in line with strategic, evidence-based programs.

Harmony, at time of publishing, has district-wide agreements with the top ten largest school districts in the U.S., where it is currently being used. That translates to more than 45,000 schools using Harmony right now, although it is internationally used as well in 20+ countries.

The platform benefits from updates and is currently in its third edition with lots of new and engaging content.

So could Harmony's SEL tools helps the students in your school or district?

What is Harmony?

Harmony SEL is a research-based tool that has been created to better facilitate social and emotional learning in schools and beyond. 

SEL works here, specifically, as described by the company to "foster knowledge, skills, and attitudes boys and girls need to develop healthy identities, create meaningful relationships, and engage productively by providing SEL learning resources, tools, and strategies."


(Image credit: Harmony)

Harmony helps to address research findings that show early to middle school years are crucially important to help develop the foundations for SEL. It works by focusing on a solid research base and a high level of practicality and adaptability, which allow it to work across a diverse range of classroom needs and schedules.

On the matter of practicality, this is all web-based and free to access so it should be available to most schools and students through any web-enabled device. 

Research into the effectiveness of Harmony is already showing that students have more respect for one another, empathy for others, take responsibility for decision making, and have improved self-awareness, plus more improvements.

How does Harmony work?

Harmony is a web-based tool that offers exercises and practices for students, teachers, and groups to complete in order to become more aware of social and emotional developmental skills.


(Image credit: Harmony)

This breaks down into explicit instructions with games, storybooks, sing-alongs, and more -- with five units, lessons, and activities to complete. The application side of learning focuses on meeting up, collaborating, and Harmony-specific goals.

The resources provided can be worked on directly by students in some cases, however, are generally focused on group work and integration led by a teacher or student leader. This is all flexible, and depends on the age and development of the students taking part.

What are the best Harmony features?

Harmony is very easy to use and clearly lays out guidance for task-based activities that can be followed by all teachers right away and by most students with ease. 

Crucially, this has been designed with inclusion in mind so even students who might otherwise struggle with group-based activities are accounted for.


(Image credit: Harmony)

Harmony is largely game-based in its learning styles so everything is fun, colorful, and engaging for students. It offers lots of useful games and tasks that can be carried out right away, in any class, and without the need for extra resources.

Thanks to the self-regulation that Harmony teaches, each lesson goes way beyond the time it's being completed. These can lead to longer-term SEL adaptability, which ultimately means teachers will have to intervene less with students as they get along better and self-regulate more effectively. 

Once registered, there is instant access to the resources on hand as well as helpful training to help with the completion of the tasks available for teachers. Helpfully, there are training videos that can be accessed for free whenever needed.

Harmony also offers monthly webinars as part of a partnership with Inspire Teaching & Learning at no extra cost.

How much does Harmony cost?

Harmony is totally free to use, and since it is designed for schools you won't find any adverts or unwanted tracking. The SEL platform is available at no cost both to schools and organizations across the country.

Harmony best tips and tricks

Play the empathy game
Go for a theme such as empathy and ask the class what this is. Get students to give examples from their experiences. Play the empathy game in which some students act out an emotion and others guess what it is. Then get students to describe a social situation and have others guess the emotions that may result.

Buddy up
Have buddies for the week on the board, which students come and find before pairing up. Then have them play the Quick Connection Cards game to help them bond ahead of the week.

Make amends together
Take any confrontations and address them as a group, looking at what could have been done differently, how behavior impacted the other, and ways to resolve conflict.

Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.