Today’s book suggestion is We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins.
This book is a funny story about a little T-Rex in a class full of human kids that illustrates how tough it can be to fit in, behave well, and make friends at the start of school. We Don’t Eat Our Classmates is cute and silly and engaging as it teaches important lessons about empathy, getting along, and following the rules.
Teaching Empathy to Children
Activity from Brook Publishing Co. “Building Student Empathy”
Activity 1: Identifying and Modeling Emotions
Print out this list of emotions and review it with your students. Then try this:
- Call on students and ask them to point to the face that shows happiness, sadness, etc. Continue until all students who had their hands raised have had a chance, even if it involves repeating emotions.
- Ask all students who want to demonstrate an emotion to put their hand up. In rapid succession, instruct students to display physical actions that illustrate each emotion. Jump in and assist with your own modeling as needed.
- Now it’s your turn—model one of the emotions that your students haven’t modeled yet, and see if your students can identify what emotion you’re feeling. Ask them what could have happened to you to make you feel that way.
- Discuss potential scenarios that may elicit emotions. Say to your students, “Show me what you would look like if you experienced this,” and then present them with the below examples (or come up with your own):
- You reached out to hug someone who turned away.
- You won a prize that you weren’t expecting.
- Your goldfish died.
- You saw yourself on TV.
- Your friend just pointed out that you have something stuck in your teeth and it’s been there since breakfast!
- You found ants all over a treat you had left for later.
- A person in your class got a toy that you have really wanted for a long time.
“All Fun & Books” is a weekly post from Sara, Dunebrook’s Public Education Coordinator. She is the mother of three-year-old twin girls.
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