Empathy - 2


Table of Contents


Definition: Empathy is the ability to understand and share feelings of another person. Empathy means you try to understand how someone is feeling and you try to see a situation from their point of view.

Discussion Points

  • Have you ever felt sad when a friend or family member was feeling sad? How did it make you feel when they were sad?
  • How does it make you feel when you’re laughing and other people are laughing with you? Now think about how it would make you feel if they weren’t laughing with you.
  • Have you ever heard the expression “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes?” What do you think this phrase means?

Activity 1: Showing Empathy

Share with the students the book We’re All Wonders by RJ Palacio. (Available on Youtube here: https://youtu.be/cJurUTRt6as?t=5)

Materials Needed:
  • We’re All Wonders by RJ Palacio
  • Student Activity Sheet A - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student


  • In the story the young boy shares some ways he is the same as other kids. He also shares that he doesn’t look like other kids. Some people make fun of him because he doesn’t look like other kids. Have you ever been hurt by someone making fun of you?

Brainstorm with students ways that we can show empathy to others who may be different than us. How can you respond when others are making fun of someone.

Allow students time to complete student activity sheet A.

Activity 2: Showing You Care When Someone Is Scared

Read to the students Otis by Loren Long (Available on Youtube here: https://youtu.be/IZn1eKefnhw?t=13)

Materials Needed:
  • Otis by Loren Long
  • Chalkboard
  • Student Activity Sheet B
  • Pencil for each student


  • In the story Otis helped the calf when it was scared. As a class, brainstorm a list of ways you can help others when they are scared.

Allow students time to complete student activity sheet B.

Activity 3: Showing You Care

We all come from different backgrounds and different experiences. Because of this it makes it difficult at times to empathize with someone when you don’t share their same feelings.

Brainstorm/discuss with students what you can do when it’s difficult to understand and empathize with another individual.

Materials Needed:
  • The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig


  • Why did Brian feel lonely; like an invisible boy?
  • What did the kids do that helped Brian begin to feel less lonely?
  • What can you do when you notice someone who feels lonely?

Brainstorm with students a list of locations where someone might be that feels lonely. Ex. recess, lunch, park

Allow students time to complete student activity sheet C.

Script Writing and Animation

In small groups, have the students create scripts demonstrating empathy appropriately and inappropriately. Use the script sheet to create students scripts.

Materials Needed:
  • Script sheet for each group
  • Pencil for each student

Example script of demonstrating empathy inappropriately:
Silas: Hey Chris, we’re all going to jump into the waves are you coming?
Chris: (Scared Look) Ummm…
Silas:Chris!!!...ugh forget it! I wonder what his problem is.
Chris: I don’t know how to swim.
Silas: Really, that’s weird. Everyone knows how to swim in our grade, you should’ve learned by now.”

Example script demonstrating empathy appropriately:
Silas: Hey Chris, we’re all going to jump into the waves are you coming?
Chris:(Scared Look) Ummm…
Silas: (Says to himself) “Hm, I wonder if he knows how to swim or is afraid of big waves."
Silas: Hey Chris, are you ok, is there something wrong?
Chris: I never learned how to swim, my mother couldn’t afford swim lessons. And I’m afraid of the waves.
Silas: Well it’s ok, I’m afraid of the monkey bars and I know you’re really good at those.
Chris: Yeah, I am. I didn’t know you were afraid of the monkey bars.
Silas: You know what, I don’t have to swim now. Why don’t we go play on the playground.
Chris: Sounds good. Thank you!

Have students record their scripts using SiLAS software for social skills. Remember to name and save their work. Premiere the movies with the group members at the end of each session.


Go to only student curriculum

Student Activity Sheet A

Read each scenario. How would you respond to the situation to show empathy.

Scenario 1:
Donny: Hey Tori, wanna come play soccer with us?
Tori: Sorry, I wish I could but I really hurt my leg the other day. I can’t play soccer but I would love to play another game.

Scenario 2:
PJ: Hey Silas, what’s wrong?
Silas: My dog Ellie is lost, we can’t find her anywhere.

Student Activity Sheet B

Directions: Answer the question below.

Think of a time you felt scared. How could someone have helped you feel better?

Student Activity Sheet C

Directions: Answer the question below.

Next time I see someone who is lonely I will...