May 18, 2018

What is empathy?

This week, as part of our Morning Meetings, we've talked about two important, but not related topics.  The first topic we've focused on is being more concise in our responses. Students were challenged this week to give gist answers when possible.  We talked about how answers, stories, responses that go on and on and on tend to result in bored listeners and readers.  I reminded the kids to think about the point they want to make and find a concise way to arrive at it.  As students get older, they'll want to develop this skill so they can keep their audience engaged and think more critically about what to include and not include in conversations with others.  

Our second topic was about empathy. Students learned that being empathetic means putting yourself in someone else's shoes. We talked about what it means to relate to others by asking "How do you think the individual is feeling in the following situations?" 

  • a friend is waiting at the airport for her mom to arrive
  • it's the end of a very, very long car ride 
  • today is her birthday party 
  • his dog passed away last night 
I'm waiting for this book to be delivered so I can read it to the boys and girls. It comes highly recommended! 

In the meantime, the boys and girls can enjoy reading and learning from the many books we have in our classroom library. Each book presents the reader with an opportunity to respond with empathy.  


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