Lesson Plan

Practicing Empathy

In this lesson, students will learn about the different regions of the brain and connect them to compassion and empathy. They will also learn how all brains are wired for empathy.
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Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to identify the different regions of the brain connected to empathy and compassion.
  • Students will be able to practice showing compassion to someone in need.

Introduction

(15 minutes)
Empathy Skits
  • Bring students together in a circle, standing.
  • Explain to students that they will be participating in an activity called "In These Shoes."
  • Tell them that in this activity, they will take their shoes off and state, "These are the shoes of someone who..." Then, they will make a true statement about themselves that others possibly don't know, and place their shoes in the center of the circle.
  • Demonstrate for the class how to complete the activity. Take your shoes off, hold them, and state, "These are the shoes of someone who...(make a personal statement)," then place your shoes in the center of the circle.
  • Tell students that it's important for them to use their listening skills and remember each of their classmate's statements. After everyone has placed their shoes in the center, one person at a time will voluntarily go into the middle of the circle, pick up a pair of shoes, bring them back to the person who wears the shoes, and repeat that person's "These are the shoes of someone who..." statement.
  • Begin the activity and continue until everyone has shared a statement and received their shoes.
  • Ask the class what they noticed during this activity. How do they feel? Did they learn something about one of their classmates that they hadn't known before?
  • Explain that it is important to take time to understand others and the "shoes they walk in."
  • Ask, "Does anyone know what this practice is called?" Tell them that it is called practicing empathy.
  • Write the word "empathy" on the board.