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    From April 11 to May 6, we will be talking about Empathy!

    Empathy: the ability to understand and connect to the feelings of another.

    We are focusing on a few key pieces of Empathy: knowing how we feel (and having language to describe those feelings!), understanding what others are feeling, and listening to others well so that we can connect in more meaningful ways!

     

    Conversation Starters

    • How do you know what you are feeling? How can you tell how someone else is feeling?
    • When do you feel most excited? Most upset? Most happy? Most sad?
    • How do you show Empathy towards your friends when they are sad?
    • What are things others might do when they’re sad, worried or frustrated? What might they say?

     

    Questions You Could Ask

    • How do you know what you are feeling? How can you tell how someone else is feeling?
    • When do you feel most excited? Most upset? Most happy? Most sad?
    • How do you show Empathy towards your friends when they are sad?
    • What are things others might do when they’re sad, worried or frustrated? What might they say?

     

    Books

    • Those Shoesby Maribeth Boelts
      Jeremy really wants THOSE shoes, the ones everybody else is getting, but his family can’t afford them. When he finds a way to get them without wearing them himself, he learns an important Empathy lesson with a bonus: to know the difference between wants and needs.
    • Hey, Little Antby Phillip and Hannah Hoose
      To squish or not, that is the question that opens up this dialogue between a kid and an ant. Expect this Empathy question, “If you were me and I were you, what would you want me to do?”  to open up an interesting discussion. 
    • Everyoneby Christopher Silas Neal
      Everyone has emotions! Feelings are universal no matter who you are or where you come from. Once students understand their feelings, they can begin to empathize with others when they realize that their friends and neighbors have those same feelings. 
    • A Family Is a Family Is a Familyby Sara O’Leary
      This story celebrates all of the different ways a family may look. Children learn how to feel confident and proud of their family. It can also help children understand and build Empathy for families that don’t look like theirs. 
    • You, Me and Empathyby Jayneen Sanders
      Students will learn all about the different emotions associated with Empathy and how they can use Empathy and their feelings to connect with people. Throughout the story, Quinn shows an abundance of understanding, compassion, and kindness towards others.

     

    Activity

    Sing along with The Mosaic Project’s Empathy Song (3:49) to build vocabulary and talk about seeing the world through someone else’s eyes and learn more about Empathy. If you want, add movement! Better yet, create words to a song or poem of your own!

     

    For Your Reading

    Empathic Parenting by Tamara Parney
    Teaching Empathy: Evidence-based Tips by Gwen Dewar, PhD
    Brene Brown on Empathy (2:53): A wonderful video clip summarizing Empathy

     

    Family Challenges

    A Feelings Walk

    Take a walk around the neighborhood or at a local park. Be on the lookout for how people are feeling. Watch for facial expressions and body language. Talk through your observations about how they’re feeling with your child. See if they agree! Then, ask some questions like: What might that person want? What might that person need?

    This information is from the Character Strong curriculum. 

    Character Strong. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2022, from https://curriculum.characterstrong.com/