All children need to know that others care and understand them. Empathy or listening to another person and putting yourself in their shoes is hard to do. Empathy is a skill that needs to be taught so that students learn this by instruction or example.
Schools in Finland are incorporating this in their curriculum daily and several U.S. schools are working in this direction too. Today the world is seen so much through technology and the tendency is to disconnect from the human elements of feeling.
There are some resources available that will hopefully help to promote and incorporate this as it becomes an integral part of each school day. When others feelings become important their safety and well-being will be a priority.
These can be used to drive instruction as writing prompts, etc.
“I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.” — Walt Whitman
“When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one third thinking about what I want to say.” — Abraham Lincoln
“Yet, taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for other’s good, and melt at other’s woe.” — Homer
Animated Story of Spookley – YouTube – Elementary Lesson Plan – Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Pacer is a square pumpkin who lives in a round pumpkin patch world. Spookley helps students understand that everyone is unique and has feelings.
How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids – YouTube – Through the story of a little boy named Felix, this book explains to children how being kind not only helps others, it helps them, too. As he goes about his day, Felix interacts with different people … Using the metaphor of a bucket and dipper, Felix’ grandfather explains why the happy people make Felix feel good, while the others leave him feeling bad — and how Felix himself is affecting others, whether he means to or not.
The Most Inspirational video – Empathy – YouTube – Inspirational video made for Cleveland Clinic – If we could see inside other peoples hearts — “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant” Henry David Thoreau