Positive behavioral support and social emotional learning (SEL) are important ingredients in fostering student success and mitigating the incidence of aggressive and harmful behaviors. Although schools provide the ideal environment in which to implement these interventions, there are obstacles to doing so. These obstacles include the amount of time and resources an intervention takes, as well as the social validity of the intervention. To determine social validity, those who implement interventions must consider stakeholder groups’ perceptions and buy in towards the intervention. Because students are typically the primary target population, their perceptions of proposed interventions are particularly important. Each month the participating school focused on one of four social skills: showing appreciation, resolving differences, making good choices, and accepting responsibility. Skills were rotated each month. To minimize demands on school resources, Book in a Bag (BIB) was created to provide a SEL intervention that dovetailed with existing classroom activities. BIB includes a monthly social skills lesson paired with a children's book. Each lesson aligns with one of four identified social skills that are integrated into the school-wide social skills program. This study examined student perceptions of Book in a Bag by analyzing student responses to survey questions. Students were asked to rate the degree to which they saw the social skills instruction as %27fun%27 and %27important,%27 as well as the extent to which they and their classmates utilized the targeted social skills. Results indicated that BIB social skills activities were enjoyable for most students. Students indicated that they often used the steps taught. Suggestions for future research and implementation were identified, including tailoring instruction to grade levels, as students’ enjoyment of Book in a Bag varied by grade level.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





social validity, social skills, elementary school, students’ perceptions, children's literature