RULER for middle school is comprised of five instructional units focusing on issues relevant to this age group, guided by project-based learning (PBL). PBL units of study allow for students to take an active role in their classrooms, solve problems, participate in group discussions, and conduct real-world experiments while learning emotion themes and concepts. The middle school approach continues to leverage the RULER tools and provides numerous opportunities for using them in the larger units through reflections, projects, and mini-lessons designed to hone the five RULER skills.

Additionally, RULER for middle school allows for interdisciplinary study and ensures that learning is student centered and inquiry based, as each unit positions students to gain knowledge and skills by investigating and responding to the unit’s driving question. The themes of each unit are consistent across grade levels, but the focus of each grade and its feeling words varies, centering on developmentally appropriate emotion concepts. RULER for middle school addresses students’ understanding of themselves, including their habits, qualities, and characteristics. Students build a deeper understanding of their best self by examining it in the context of relationships, identity/personal values, civic engagement, goal setting, conflict resolution, and wellbeing.