Empathy - 3

Continued Growth

Lesson Plan

Goal: In given social situations, the student will demonstrate empathy toward a peer or adult in 8 out of 10 observable opportunities as measured by a teacher assessment tool.

1. Identify if empathy was displayed/demonstrated in presented social scenarios.
2. Define empathy in his/her own words.
3. Use rehearsed phrases that demonstrate understanding and practice of empathy.

Definitions of Key Terms: 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 been hurt by a friend or family member and wished they understood how you felt?
  • 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?
  • What do you think is the difference between sympathy and empathy? Are they the same, different or similar?

Discuss with students what it means to have empathy. Review the discussion point questions.

Possible activities to review the discussion points or use your own:

Think. Pair. Share: The teacher will pose questions related to the discussion points. Explain to students that the purpose of the activity is to think about the question and activate prior knowledge. The teacher will model the procedure to facilitate student understanding.

  • T (Think): Teacher begins by asking a specific question using the discussion topics.
  • P (Pair): Each student should be paired with another student, small group or work with a teacher. Pairs write brief answers on sticky notes or scrap paper.
  • S (Share): Students share their thinking with their partner. Teacher then leads a whole-group conversation using students’ answers.

SEL Categories Activity:

  • Ask students to create a list of words associated with the topic (give them 2-5 minutes to complete).
  • Once time is up, ask each student to share a word or thought from their list.
  • Other students must cross that word or thought off their list.
  • Continue the process until all words or thoughts have been listed.

Directions for In-Person or Virtual Learning: You have three options for students to complete this lesson.

  • Option 1: Print the Student Activity Sheet for each student. Complete the lesson as a group and assign the activity sheet to the students.
  • Option 2: Click the Student link to access the activity sheet electronically and post to your Learning Management System (if your school has one) or send the link to the student. The student may complete the activity sheet electronically within the classroom on a shared computer or device.
  • Option 3: Click the Student link to access the activity sheet electronically and send the link to the student. The student may access the link from a home computer, chromebook, iPad or other device.

Activity 1: Feeling Sad and Hurt

Brainstorm with students a variety of situations that make them feel sad and hurt. Record responses on the board. Discuss with them how they expect others to feel or act towards them when they feel sad. What helps them? What makes them feel sadder? Discuss some responses you can use when you see someone else in that situation.

Materials Needed:
  • Chart paper or interactive board

Partner/pair the students together. Using these situations, ask each pair to role play ways to show empathy when the other feels sad. Determine how many situations each pair should do and set a specific amount of time for the students to role play.

When the time is up, discuss with the students what they felt about the role play, what were the polite responses, and how they can use these in real situations.

Activity 2: Being Empathetic

Before starting the activity, write the questions from the prompts (or use your own prompt) on the board or chart paper.

Materials Needed:
  • Chart paper or interactive board
  • Student Activity Sheet A - 1 for each student

Review the key points from Activity 1 with the students. Remind students that when we try and relate to something someone else is going through, we are being empathetic.

Read Prompt #1 to students. Ask students to share their experiences.

Prompt #1: Think of time when a friend or family member hurt your feelings.

Prompt #1 Question: Did you wish they understood how you felt?

Give students the prompt below and have them complete Student Activity Sheet A.

Prompt #2: Think of a time when you might have hurt a friend or family member. Write about how they might have felt and what you could have done to be more empathetic.

When students have completed Student Activity Sheet A, discuss their answers.

Student Activity Sheet A

Directions: Think of a time when you might have hurt a friend or family member. Write about how they might have felt and what you could have done to be more empathetic.

Activity 3: Showing You Care

Review the key points from Activities 1 and 2 with the students.

Discuss with students how 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.

Materials Needed:
  • Chart paper or interactive board
  • Student Activity Sheet B - 1 for each student

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

Ask the students complete Student Activity Sheet B. When all students have finished, discuss their answers.

Student Activity Sheet B

Directions: Think about a situation when a fellow student, friend or family member might need someone to empathize with them. Write about the situation and discuss three things you could do to empathize with them.

Application Activity

Script Prompt: Develop a script and create an animation that includes two characters in a setting related to the problem. Use the script prompt provided below or create your own and include:

Materials Needed:

The dialogue between the characters must include:

  • One of the characters displaying empathy in a situation.
  • The other character not showing empathy for the same situation.

Script Extensions: Click the following hyperlinks to have students choose their Characters, Background and Props prior to writing scripts. For examples of script writing accommodations, click Here.

Methods for completing this activity include (choose one or a few, depending on your students’ levels and abilities):

Script Writing Practice: Teacher-led discussion of script creation. As a group, write both an appropriate and inappropriate version of the script. In small groups or individually, have the students independently create scripts that demonstrate the script prompt. Use the script sheet to create students' scripts.

Independent Script Recording: Pair students together to complete two scripts using the same script prompt detailed above. Direct each student to take turns being character one and character two.

Animation Creation: Have students record their scripts using the SiLAS software. Remind students to name and save their work. Premiere the movies with the group members at the end of each session.

Lesson Extension: Incorporate ELA standards by discussing both spoken and written grammar rules (dialogue punctuation, correct verb tense, sentence structure, character, setting, problem, solution). Consider using both the final animation and written script as an ELA grade/assignment.

Topic Checkout

Review the key points from the previous activities and discussions with students. Allow students time to complete the Student Topic Checkout. Discuss their answers when all students have finished.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Topic Checkout - 1 per student
  • A pencil for each student

Student Topic Checkout

Directions: Answer the following questions.

1. What is empathy? How can you show it?

2. Why is empathy important?

3. What happens when you don’t show empathy to a friend or family member?

4. List up to three ways you can show empathy.