Engage students in a discussion about empathy and different ways to show care and concern for others.
This activity supports the development of the following social-emotional skills: relationship skills, responsible decision-making, self-awareness, and social awareness.
Engage students in a discussion around how they practice empathy for others by taking appropriate actions that are caring and helpful. Empathy is an important skill that helps us build strong connections with others. Practicing empathy consists of 1) considering another person’s point-of-view by “putting ourselves in their shoes,” 2) understanding and relating to their feelings, and 3) taking action to help them based on our understanding!
Ask students to imagine a classmate named Zee, who is sitting alone on the playground because their best friend just moved away. As students share their thoughts, record their responses on a physical or digital board that is visible to everyone. You might ask:
Direct students to think about their own experiences receiving empathy from friends. How do they want others to treat them when they are feeling sad, lonely, or upset? Introduce students to the “Five Empathy Hearts,” which are:
Ask students which type of Empathy Heart they have, and use the handout below to draw or write how they want their friends to show them empathy. You might invite them to share about their Empathy Heart with the class to learn how everyone prefers to receive care and comfort. You might even display their Empathy Hearts in the classroom or hallways so students can see how they can best support each other with empathy.
Faciliate a live virtual exchange with your Empatico partner class, and invite students to share their stories and reflections with each other. For example, students might:
Guide students through a post-activity reflection by asking the following questions: