What Is Empathy and How to Teach It to Pre-K Students

Pre KindergartenLesson: 406

What Is Empathy and How to Teach It to Pre-K Students

An illustrative and relatable story titled "Thinking About Others," opens this lesson. It is about a poor boy named Dude who is feeling very sad. He is worrying about his good, old friend, Skip the dog, who is sick and needs to see a doctor. His sadness makes him grumpy, grouchy, and lazy. His friend, Droid, at first cannot understand. They are going on a trip to Mars and Dude is not at all helpful or excited. Droid wants to yell at Dude. That is until he learns what empathy is.

Memorable, interactive, and easy to understand, this lesson teaches the students everything about empathy. It helps pre-kindergartners to learn what empathy is, how to show empathy, and why they should practice showing empathy.

"This is an SEL lesson that fosters empathy in young students. By teaching them to put themselves in others' shoes, pre-kindergarten students learn how to interact with others appropriately."

The teacher displays the "Code of Conduct" poster and reminds the students that showing empathy is a positive action for treating others and getting along with them. The “Droid,” “Dude,” and “Mama Amore” visual aids are also posted.

The engaging class discussion that follows helps the students to realize that they want to be treated with empathy, so they should treat others the same way. After all, everyone wants to be understood and shown empathy, especially during difficult times.

As a reinforcement, the class makes a large card with a caring and empathetic letter in it. They also do a finger play that helps them remember the concept of empathy. The lesson ends by having the students mark their Positive Behavior Chart as a promise to always show empathy.

This is an SEL lesson that fosters empathy in young students. By teaching them to put themselves in others' shoes, pre-kindergarten students learn how to interact with others appropriately. They learn that showing empathy is thinking and acting positively toward others.

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