Empathy Teacher Resources
Find Empathy educational ideas and activities
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Fourth graders define empathy and relate to friendship. In this social skills lesson, 4th graders discuss the pros and cons of making friends by feeling empathy for their hurts. Students discuss ways to keep friends.
Learners watch an episode of the PBS show "Maya and Miguel" and examine how to express empathy with someone who has a disability. They discuss the episode, and create an art project using one hand only, or paint an object blindfolded and discuss how it feels to create art in this different way.
Students complete activities to develop empathy. For this empathy lesson, students complete discussion activities and all the related worksheets in order to build their understanding of the concepts to empathy. Students identify a public figure who has shown empathy.
Students investigate the emotion and social practice of empathy. They role play being in various situations in order to understand the feelings of others. Students pick an adult to interview who has overcome great difficulty.
First graders explore empathy. In this social skills lesson students compare and contrast exclusion and inclusion. Students discuss the difference being considerate and respectful toward others.
Students create poems based on the Haiku form and research about WWII. Class discussion and classroom readings of student work finish this lesson. Emphasis is placed on Standards in the Arts.
New Review We've All Been There
What does empathy look like? Encourage your pupils to put themselves in another person's shoes with several writing and discussion activities that relate to a featured short film. Over the course of the lesson plan, individuals collaborate with others, discuss the theme, write short stories, and view and respond to the film.
This bullying prevention lesson addresses the meaning of empathy, feelings of being excluded, and friendship-building skills. While it is designated for 8th grade, some of the materials seem appropriate for 6th or 7th grade. The lesson includes a brainstorming activity, an inclusion/exclusion exercise, small group and whole class discussion. Also there is a small group improvisation in front of the class. No assessments or rubrics are provided.
Students design a paper quilt. For this empathy quilt lesson, students create a note card using personal experience and by researching information on either tolerance, awareness, empathy or acceptance to contribute to the class quilt. This lesson is part of a Problem Based Learning (PBL) unit.
Second graders read articles about being afraid, dealing with anger and apologizing. In this feelings lesson, 2nd graders read articles and discuss the feelings they have. Students describe their feelings and how to be supportive of each other.
Students design emergency shelters. In this designing emergency shelters lesson, students discuss living conditions of people after a natural disaster. Students discuss the tsunami that struck East Asia. Students design collapsible shelters that could be used in an emergency situation. Students research various natural disasters and share their research with the class.
Class members have an opportunity to develop empathy as they assume the identity of one of the characters in Ernest Hemingway's short story, "Indian Camp." They write about one event in the story from the point of view and in the voice of their character, craft an extension to the story in Hemingway's voice, and research the writer's life to find parallels between Hemingway's life and the events in the story. In addition, the class discusses the racism and ethics embedded in the tale.
The documentary film, Tia and Marco, is used to stimulate a conversation about illegal immigration, stereotyping, and prejudice. The point of view of the film and the exercises is that empathy is the key to combating discrimination. Included in the packet are a viewing guide, an evaluation form, and links to all necessary materials.
Second graders discuss bullying, empathy and making friends. In this social skills lesson, 2nd graders read a story and have a class discussion on what it means to be empathetic, how to be a good friend and how strong friendships and empathy can help prevent bullying.
Help learners understand the impact of bullying and express empathy. Pupils re-arrange jumbled poems about bullying in small groups and discuss these poems with the class. Hold a discussion about empathy and friendship to encourage students to be accepting of everyone at school. Note: this plan is a part of a series on bullying prevention. Materials are included.
Fourth graders discuss the concept of empathy. In this character education lesson, 4th graders discuss how it feels to be excluded and how to show empathy for those who have been bullied. Students discuss how to treat everyone with kindness.
Students practice problem solving skills by asking questions and participating in a design challenge. In this asking questions lesson, students work in pairs to ask questions to design a solution for a difficult personal problem. Students use empathy to design a challenge activity where they research a problem in a specific country. Students present their challenges as a presentation.
Fourth graders hypothesize about the difficulties they may encounter if they did not have their sense of sight, in order to establish a sense of empathy for the disabled. In this instructional activity on senses, 4th graders record all of the things they have done up to this point in the day, then explain how they may have done those things if they were not able to see. Students further explore disabilities and how they affect people's lives while working in small groups.
Tenth graders practice using empathy with an enemy. In this Current Events lesson, 10th graders prepare possible peace plans for Bosnia after the war. Students write a report on Nelson Mandela's use of reconciliation in South Africa.
Students develop empathy through writing. In this writing skills lesson, students read the listed poems and then respond to analysis questions about them. Students write poetry responses of the characters in the poems they read. The poetry should incorporate figurative language and voice.