We’ve looked at pictures of kids in various scenarios and guessed how they might feel. We’ve also noticed how our faces change based on emotions. The students realized that even if people experience the identical situation (e.g., a friend can’t come to your birthday party), they may have a different emotion (e.g., disappointment, anger, relief.)
The students were assigned homework where they’re to notice other people’s faces and try to guess their emotions. They can do this with family members, the person at the drive-through, characters on TV, etc.
You can encourage empathy for others with activities at home.
- expand your feeling words vocabulary. Instead of only using sad, mad, or happy, use varying degrees of these emotions such as gloomy, irritated, or elated.
- read or watch TV together. Discuss how various characters feel. Ask, “Would you have the same emotion in that situation?”
One of the goals of our empathy training is to become better prepared to problem-solve.
In 5th grade, we’re reading Rules. We’ve met Catherine’s little brother who has autism. She thinks it’s her job to help him navigate people, places, and situations. Some recent rules she’s given him are:
- Sometimes you’ve gotta work with what you’ve got.
- If you want to get away from someone check your watch and say, “Sorry, gotta go!”
- Looking closer can make something beautiful.
The students are very aware of how we all have differences and exceptionalities. But we’re all the same in that we need love, support, and kindness.
I hope you have an exceptional weekend!