Relating with Empathy
Students will be able to define the word "empathy" and discuss ways to positively relate to others and exhibit understanding and empathy.
- Join students together in a circle, either seated or standing.
- Pair students up into partners.
- Explain that today the class will be discussing how we can relate with others.
- Pass out whiteboards and whiteboard markers.
- Project the first scenario from the Empathy Scenarios worksheet on the board.
- Read the first scenario out loud.
- Read the question and ask student partners to discuss how they would feel or relate to the person in the story.
- Give pairs two minutes to discuss.
- Ask students to write down their feelings and what they discussed on their whiteboard.
- Ask for 2–3 groups to share their thoughts and what they wrote on their whiteboard.
- Project the next three scenarios and move through the same sequence of events (read the scenario and questions, give students time to discuss, write, and share).
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(15 minutes)
- Write the word "empathy" on the board.
- Ask, "Does anyone know what this word means?"
- Write the definition of empathy on the board: "the understanding of or the ability to identify with another person's feelings or experiences."
- Use the following questions to lead a class discussion on the topic of empathy:
- Why is it important to understand another person's feelings?
- How does it feel when others understand your feelings?
- What are some ways that others have shown that they understand?
- Explain that students will participate in a group activity where they will be given the scenarios from earlier, but they will perform the scenarios showing understanding and empathy.
- Model (with another student volunteer) how you would act out a scenario showing that you can relate and understand another's feelings. Use the following sample scenario to model:
- Teacher and student volunteer are at the pencil sharpener.
- Student sharpens pencil and pencil breaks.
- Students says, “Oh man! That was my last pencil! I can’t believe it broke!”
- Teacher says, “That is a bummer! I can’t stand when that happens! I have one you can borrow until you get a new one."
- Student says, “Oh wow, thank you! I am way behind on the math test and really appreciate your help!”
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Review the worksheet and directions.
- Ask students if they have questions.
- Break students into groups for skits.
- Assign each group a location in the classroom to work.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Dismiss students to go to a special place in class to work on their skit. Be sure to circle around the room and check for understanding of empathy with each group.
Enrichment: Ask advanced students to write their own scenario that illustrates empathy.
Support: Assign students to work in mixed skill-level groups during group work. Work one-on-one or in small groups with some students when working on skits.
- Walk around the room and check student comprehension of empathy and the ability to work as a team during group work.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Bring students back together in a circle.
- Ask each group to perform their skit.
- Ask, "How did the group show empathy during the skit?"
- Ask, "How can we remember to have understanding and empathy for others and ourselves?"