52 Essential Conversations & Relationships in Schools

For students in K-16. Now used by teachers and counselors in all 50 states and 44 countries.

As seen featured by CASEL and Harvard Graduate School of Education.

52 Essential Conversations is a wonderful tool for teachers and parents alike to have anytime, anywhere conversations with young people to build our mutual understanding and our SEL competencies together.
— Karen Van Ausdal, Senior Director of Practice, CASEL
52 Essential Conversations is such a brilliant, yet simple way to bring families together. I was amazed to see divorced families at our engagement night sit down with their children and play such a fun game. To see families connect, and re-connect, was so heartwarming. What’s even better about the game is that it’s so easy to use, literally anywhere. A car ride. At the doctor. In the living room or even at the dinner table. It transcends from families at home to teachers and students in their classroom, even to the school counselors office. As an Elementary School Counselor for Irvine Unified, I have already used these cards to help my students develop emotional intelligence.
— Israel Cruz, MA, PPS Elementary Resource Counseling Specialist, Irvine Unified School District
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Align with Educational Strategic Plan on promoting social emotional wellness.

Case Study: Put a deck in every classroom

52 Essential Conversations has begun to take off school-wide here at Glover! We have two decks that have been used in a variety of classrooms with rave reviews. In fact, teachers felt so strongly that the topics of conversation were relevant, developmentally appropriate, and powerful that they encouraged me to write a grant to put a deck in every classroom. We are thrilled to have received a grant from the Milton Foundation for Education to put a deck in each classroom. Teachers are using the cards in small groups, for whole class conversations, and one-on-one with children. Related service providers and adjustment counselors also reference the conversations around mindfulness, empathy, character, and critical thinking frequently in their sessions with children. The topics addressed, particularly social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision making, and inclusion are in direct alignment with our district Strategic Plan goal around social-emotional learning.
— Karen McDavitt, Principal & 2012 Semifinalist of State of Massachusetts "Teacher of the Year"
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Two ways to Purchase:

1. Here on site: click Shop (ships worldwide)

What a cutting-edge opportunity to align social emotional learning at home and in school! 52 Essential Conversations covers critical topics that both children and parents need to succeed as self-aware participants of the 21st century.
— Dr. Linda Nathan, Founding Headmaster, Boston Arts Academy; Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education

SEL + Character Education + Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion + 21st-Century Critical Thinking Skills:

100+ easy-to-use and research-based questions on topics in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Topics in diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as implicit bias and community, are also integrated to build critical consciousness. Topics are organized by level of difficulty to provide readily accessible questions and scenarios that build social, cognitive, and emotional intelligence based on research in learning sciences.

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Social Circles, Restorative Justice Circles, Classroom Team Building. Interdisciplinary across Subjects.

The tool is being used in advisory, social circles, restorative practices, reflective journaling activities in both independent and public Elementary through High Schools. It is also used in new teacher training as a tool to introduce lessons and help students connect ideas interdisciplinarily. 

I got my cards and I love them. Great topics and questions. They blend perfectly with our Restorative Justice circles and Kagan team building we do with our students. I love how there are levels of difficulty ( and I don’t have to figure/plan that out) and I can pass the card around during circles. I wish I had had them during our road trips this summer. I think they are great for parents who are looking to engage in deeper conversations with their kids and honestly, couples. I asked and answered questions with my husband. I think I’ll use them with my dad too.
— Roxanne Schultz, Wright Middle School STEAM Magnet, LAUSD

After School Programming and Support

I love the 52 Essential cards! We are using them for staff meetings before the kids arrive to get in the mindset of preparing children for life and transforming the time with them into quality time! The cards are a great tool to use for after school play professionals, so that we can be empowered on how to start these compassionate conversations with the youth.
— Jennifer M Director of Social Emotional Program Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach

Parent Engagement and Community Partnership:

The tool offers a clever, easy, and non-threatening way to bridge parent engagement and partnership. Working like a deck of cards, the game is played both in schools and homes to boost SEL competencies, build academic language and critical thinking skills in families. With the student's academic and life engagement as the focused outcome, 52 Essential Conversations is a pragmatic and playful resource to align SEL in the home and school environments.

The game comes with accompanying parenting podcast on iTunes (and on this website) covering each of the topics in the cards. Each podcast features an interview with a passionate educator providing pragmatic, insightful, and culturally-responsive tips for parents of children in K-12.

I absolutely LOVE them! I...show them off on all of my school visits and meetings. They were also a huge hit at a SEL/RULER Parent Engagement night♥️
— Carrie Ramanauskas, District SEL Coordinator, Bridgeport Public Schools
As an educator and parent of three tween girls, 52 Essential Conversations is the answer to my prayers! It gives me the prompt for the conversation I want to have but am not sure how to start.
— Dr. Celine Coggins, Founder of Teach Plus and Harvard Lecturer

Ordering 10 or more for your school or parent organization? Email (jwoo@mindbrainparenting.org) for bulk pricing.

Purchase Order and W-9 available upon request.

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Need data?

Download the university research on 52 Essential Conversations. A study conducted at the University of California, Irvine.


Interested in participating in university research projects? Email jwoo@mindbrainparenting.org