Improve life outcomes

Jumpstart: Empathy - Basic


1. Identify an action that demonstrates understanding of empathy.
2. Define the meaning of “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes”.
3. Identify up to 2 nonverbal cues that help determine how others are feeling.

Activity: Showing Empathy

Share with the students the book We’re All Wonders by RJ Palacio. (Available on Youtube here:

Materials Needed:
  • We’re All Wonders by RJ Palacio
  • One piece of paper 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?

Ask students to share their experiences that might be similar to the boy in the story. Record answers on chart paper or the board. Ask them to think how someone could have shown them empathy or how they can show empathy in situations they may encounter.

Have students use a piece of paper to write down thier answers. When all students have finished, gather them together and discuss their answers.