SEL

Children Need to Know That Others Care

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.

Famous Empathy Quotes

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

Resources

STRATEGIES AND RESOURCES TO SUPPORT TRAUMA-INFORMED K-12 SCHOOLS

SchoolSafety.gov – This brief specifically focuses on strategies and resources to build and maintain trauma-informed schools that promote student well-being and safe, supportive learning environments.

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PURPLE STAR RESOURCES FOR SCHOOLS

Downloadable documents are available to help implement the Purple Star Program and support military connected students in your schools.

To download click the name of each resource. Email kypurplestar@ky.gov if you need other documents.

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SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL LEARNING/HEALTH

Kentucky Department of Education – Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.

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COMPASSION RESILIENCE TOOLKIT

Empathy Website Image_Compassion Resilience The Compassion Resilience Toolkit for Schools is a flexibly implemented set of evidence-informed resources to build awareness of compassion fatigue and strategies to increase compassion resilience in adults from a system and individual perspective. The resources include activities for large group, small group or team-based use as well as for individual reflection. Included in the 12 sections are activities for leaders and staff on realistic expectations, setting compassionate boundaries, building a workplace culture of compassion, self-care strategies, and links to further learning.

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SOURCES OF STRENGTH

Sources of Strength for Middle/High schools is a peer-led, evidence-based, mental health wellness program that utilizes the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and cultures.

The elementary program utilizes a curriculum-based approach and keeps an upstream focus to increase health and wellness and decrease negative downstream outcomes by using active learning, talking circles, guided reflection and celebrating growth.

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SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING AT A GLANCE

National Center for School Safety – Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is an approach to education that supports students’ learning skills and strategies to help them be successful in interpersonal relationships, make healthy choices, and prepare for life beyond the classroom.

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SCHOOL CLIMATE RESOURCES FOR THE K-12 COMMUNITY

SchoolSafety.gov released an infographic that outlines the benefits of creating a positive school climate and strategies and resources for enhancing school safety, fostering school connectedness and relationships, and enabling a supportive environment.

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PROMOTING MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING IN SCHOOLS

CDC Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being in SchoolsCDC – Schools are prioritizing students’ mental health, and there are many tools and resources to choose from. CDC created this action guide as a place to start. It can help school and district leaders build on what they are already doing to promote students’ mental health and find new strategies to fill in gaps.

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EMPATHY IN YOUR CLASSROOM: TRY THESE ACTIVITIES TO BUILD EMPATHY AND COMMUNITY

SSI Empathy Website Image Teachers Guild Empathy in Your ClassroomThe Teachers Guild – In a 10-week design journey, The Teachers Guild asked its network of optimistic educators across the country to design and share ideas to cultivate empathy in their classrooms. This project generated over a hundred solutions, and sparked active conversations on and offline about the limits of empathy in schools and the …

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LEARNING FOR JUSTICE: LESSONS

Teaching Tolerance – These robust, ready-to-use classroom lessons offer breadth and depth, spanning essential social justice topics and reinforcing critical social emotional learning skills.

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4 PROVEN STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING EMPATHY

SSI Empathy Website Image Edutopia TeachingEdutopia – Here are some strategies our graduates around the world use with their students to help develop both affective and cognitive empathy. Modeling. Teaching Point of View. Using Literature to Teach Different Perspectives. Listening Actively to Others. Being Metacognitive About One’s State of Empathy.

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TRAUMA-INFORMED, RESILIENCE-ORIENTED SCHOOLS TOOLKIT

National Center for School Safety – A toolkit outlining a framework for implementing Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Oriented (TR) approaches in schools and school districts.

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WE ALL TEACH SEL: EMPATHY ACTIVITIES AND TOOLS FOR STUDENTS

SSI Empathy Website Image Common Sense Media SELCommon Sense Education – Building SEL (social and emotional learning) skills such as empathy requires face-to-face interactions, meaningful discussion, and reflection. Edtech is no complete substitute for that, but there are tools that can supplement the development of character in the classroom and at home.

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PROMOTING MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING IN SCHOOLS: AN ACTION GUIDE FOR SCHOOL AND DISTRICT LEADERS

CDC Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being in Schools: An Action Guide for School and District LeadersCDC – This action guide was designed for school administrators in kindergarten through 12th grade schools (K-12), including principals and leaders of school-based student support teams, to identify evidence-based strategies, approaches, and practices that can positively influence students’ mental health.

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TEACHER'S GUIDE: EMPATHY (GRADES 3 TO 5)

SSI Empathy Website Image Kids HealthKidsHealth in the Classroom – Students will: Comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health. Demonstrate the ability to access valid information and products and services to enhance health. Demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.

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40 KINDNESS ACTIVITIES & EMPATHY WORKSHEETS FOR STUDENTS AND ADULTS

SSI Empathy Website Image PositivePsychologyPositive Psychology Program – Read on to learn how to target kindness and empathy development, building on our natural tendencies and enhancing our capacity to care about others. …

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Curriculum

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS FOUNDATION

Kindness in the Classroom® is a CASEL approved, highly effective, evidence-based, social emotional learning curriculum used all over the world, with focuses on equity, teacher self-care, digital citizenship and kindness.

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OLWEUS BULLYING PREVENTION PROGRAM

The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is designed to improve peer relations and make schools safer, more positive places for students to learn and develop.

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GLOBAL GAME CHANGERS STUDENT EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM

Global Game Changers is a project-based program that provides teacher-tested, evidence-based, FREE Pre-K – 5th grade curriculum and resources that use service learning and talent development as tools to nurture children’s social, emotional, leadership, and academic growth. With a motto to IGNITE GOOD!®, the lessons use a simple equation: MY TALENT + MY HEART = MY SUPERPOWER!® to lay the foundation for nurturing engaged and successful citizens and leaders. Students explore their hearts, uncover their true talents and develop the self-confidence they need to succeed in life. (Free)

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DIGITAL WELL-BEING LESSONS FOR GRADES K–12

Common Sense Education Digital Well-Being Lessons for Grades K–12Common Sense Education – Support students’ digital well-being with this set of evidence-based lessons. Each is designed to help them build agency, reduce anxious thoughts, and increase mindfulness related to their tech habits.

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inspirED

SSI Empathy Website Image InspireEdinspirED – born out of a partnership between Facebook and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence—is an online community designed by educators, teens, and experts in social and emotional learning (SEL) to help high school students and educators work together to create the best possible learning communities. Resources, designed by teens, educators, and SEL experts, empower students to work together to create more positive school climates and foster greater wellbeing in their schools and communities. (Free)

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TAP INTO EMPATHY AND RESPECT AND YOU CAN CONNECT

SSI Empathy Website Image Committee for ChildrenCommittee for Children – The Second Step curriculum includes lessons on listening and empathy, and the lessons are grounded in respect. Students learn to notice and recognize how another person is feeling, and understand that people can have different feelings about the same thing.

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Videos

Sesame Street: Mark Ruffalo: Empathy – YouTube – Video for Sesame Street empathy episode. Mark Ruffalo and Murray talk about the word “Empathy”.

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.

“Under The Surface” – Empathy Film – YouTube – The Knowledge Center, Inc. – “If you had knowledge of others experience” — “You only understand people if you feel them in yourself.” John Steinbeck.