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#EverydayEmpathy

CLS #EVERYDAYEMPATHY 2016 Resource Guide

Hello. Welcome to the kick-off of the #EverydayEmpathy campaign. The purpose of this focus is to intentionally build the attributes of empathy in schools and communities throughout the coming year. Each month is dedicated to a specific aspect of empathy development, from building a foundation for the development of empathy and compassion, to taking specific actions that create empathy.

CLS_Chart

Adapted from information at startempathy.org and CASEL

#EverydayEmpathy – December: Acting with Intention

 

Here we are – the end of our #EverydayEmpathy journey together. I hope you have enjoyed the various resources pulled together in each of the months. To end, we’ve included 31 more links to videos, Ted Talks, lesson plans and other resources to generate empathy on your campus. As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

Thank you all for being part of this incredible journey together! We invite you to share your experiences by leaving a comment through our comment form - https://www.clsteam.net/contact/. We look forward to hearing from you!

  1. Need more tips to build resilience and kindness in kids? Try Dr. Siegal’s Six Tips - http://dalailamacenter.org/learn/dan-siegel-6-steps-build-kindness-and-resilience-children
  1. Dare to get involved in a big way with a longer project. This group can help! http://www.origin8project.org/1993/
  1. Kindness – it’s not just for kids - http://ripplekindness.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Kindness-Week-Adult-Checklist.pdf
  1. Test out your empathy IQ with this simple quiz - http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/quizzes/take_quiz/14
  1. I love book drops! Encourage students to leave books for other students, around campus and within the community. You are not only demonstrating kindness and empathy, you are promoting literacy - https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/1194-leave-a-used-book-on-public-transport
  1. Take #5 one step further by hosting a Local Author day with your campus library. Invite authors to come and talk with kids, promote literacy, and donate books. Most are more than willing to help out. You can then ask kids to donate books. Give all of the books to local shelters.
  1. Check out these great social change partners doing amazing things in the area of empathy - https://www.changex.org/us/social-innovations
  1. Great discussion articles about empathy for kids - https://classroom.kidshealth.org/classroom/6to8/personal/growing/empathy.pdf
  1. Try this RAK with as a class community project - https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/1236-deliberate-acts-of-kindness
  1. Encourage students to try this in every text, snapchat and social media post - https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/1211-email-compliment
  1. Cooperative games that teaching kindness and empathy - http://www.peaceablekingdom.com/?gclid=CMnjpvCDrNACFUdbfgod32UF-A
  1. A lesson in empathy for ES students using stories - https://twoapplesaday.org/2012/02/16/those-shoes/
  1. Building empathy - http://learninginaction.com/PDF/ELSR.pdf
  1. Teaching a growth mindset also helps develop empathy - https://blog.classcreator.io/teaching-kids-to-struggle-growthmindset/
  1. Create an empathy box - https://dschool.stanford.edu/groups/k12/wiki/4a1ba/EMPATHY_BOX.html
  1. Try this deliberate act of kindness and compassion when your our shopping! Better yet, get your class to write the words - http://www.carwindowpoetry.com/
  1. Resources to build relationships and improve school climates - http://www.pbisworld.com/tier-2/teach-relationship-skills/
  1. Few things are harder than being at a new school. Make things easier by making it a point to introduce yourself to new classmates. Good for the school, good for you, good for them - https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/942-introduce-yourself-to-a-new-classmate
  1. Use the Praise Game to promote empathy and kindness - http://www.pbisworld.com/tier-2/the-praise-game/
  1. Help HS students grow kindness skill through this self-assessment - http://rak-materials.s3.amazonaws.com/cde/en/High-School-Student-Self-Assessment_landscape.pdf
  1. More empathy games to play - https://www.commonsense.org/education/top-picks/top-games-that-teach-empathy
  1. We must face our own shame and vulnerability in order to demonstrate empathy with others – a Ted Talk - http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame?language=en
  1. Kindness worksheets for use in schools - http://www.keepyourchildsafe.org/empathy-kindness-worksheet-for-kids.html
  1. It’s amazing how powerful “listening” can be! https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/1213-listen-well-to-everyone-around-you
  1. Social problems and empathy: a lesson - http://www.empathyed.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52:using-sociodrama-to-promote-empathy&catid=39:empathyed-lesson-plans&Itemid=64
  1. Empathy starts with staff - https://www.crisisprevention.com/Blog/January-2014/The-Empathic-Educator
  1. Build a stronger community by eating lunch with someone you don’t know - https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/1023-eat-lunch-with-someone-new
  1. Connect empathy with digital citizenship with these ideas - https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/posters
  1. An easy, great way to experience empathy - http://www.cscinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Handout_3_social_skills.pdf
  1. Using multi-cultural literature to promote empathy - http://www.empathyed.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=62:using-multicultural-literature-to-develop-empathy&catid=39:empathyed-lesson-plans&Itemid=64
  1. Teach HS students the importance of emotional self-care with these lessons - http://materials.randomactsofkindness.org/cde/en/High-School-Emotional-Care-Unit.pdf

#EverydayEmpathy – November: Take Action

 

Welcome to November. We are nearly at the end of our journey for the year. We have focused throughout the past ten months on how to develop the skill basis for empathy. Now it’s time to take action. The activities over the next two month are all activities designed to promote empathy, kindness and compassion on your campus. The 30 links below include videos, Ted Talks, lesson plans and other resources to generate empathy on your campus.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

  1. Kindness posters for use at your school - http://downloads.randomactsofkindness.org/RAK_kindness_posters_18x24.pdf
  1. Reach out to strangers and get to know each other. Not sure how, try this (a video by SoulPancake) - https://youtu.be/HfHV4-N2LxQ
  1. Why it is so important to avoid the “single story”. A Ted Talk - https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story
  1. Empathy can be taught; a reminder - http://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/blogs/edutopia-taran-lesson7empathy.pdf
  1. The power of post-its! Try this at your school - https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/1233-post-it-kindness
  1. More kindness campaign ideas for your sites (Elementary) - http://ripplekindness.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/rkp-kind-ideas-kids-a4.pdf
  1. A great way to develop empathy in MS students with literature - https://www.originsonline.org/newsletters/winter-2008-dd/teaching-empathy-young-adolescents
  1. Start a food drive on campus. I know, you have those. But why not get creative and host an organize food drive, or a “clean eating” food drive. Encourage health AND help those less fortunate - https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/1199-start-your-own-food-drive
  1. Ideas for lessons and activities that build empathy - https://dschool.stanford.edu/groups/k12/wiki/15f3a/Kid_Empathy_Activity_and_Tools.html
  1. Do this one around your campus! https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/1219-create-a-collage-of-kind-faces
  1. Teaching emotional intelligence to children – a video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfXsjrzu3i8
  1. Using paper bag stories to develop empathy - http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/developing-story-structure-with-1024.html
  1. Using mindfulness to promote empathy, kindness and compassion - http://www.mindfulteachers.org/p/free-resources-and-lesson-plans.html
  1. Remember to say thank you to parents, teachers, bus drivers and all of the people that make a difference in your life - https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/943-thank-your-parents
  1. 6 steps to develop empathy - https://freespiritpublishingblog.com/2015/11/17/cultivate-empathy-in-your-students/
  1. Bring back a favorite – a Ted Talk about empathy - https://www.ted.com/talks/sam_richards_a_radical_experiment_in_empathy?language=en
  1. Make a perspective box and use with your students - http://blog.classcreator.io/teaching-kids-about-perspectives-and-empathy/
  1. Teaching empathy to young children - http://preventingbullying.promoteprevent.org/8-empathy-activities
  1. More great sticky-note ideas that can extend into your community - https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/1175-confidence-sticky-notes
  1. How to develop compassion – lesson plans - http://www.seedsofcompassion.org/why/curriculum.asp
  1. Teaching students the physical aspects of connections and empathy - https://kristinamarcelli.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/empathy-x-ray-helping-children-notice-the-positive-physical-response-to-connection/
  1. Role-play activities for the development of empathy - http://www.thehouseofhendrix.com/2013/08/02/teaching-empathy-through-role-play/
  1. Picture books that teach empathy - http://www.whatdowedoallday.com/2015/08/picture-books-to-teach-empathy.html
  1. Build a kindness chain - http://sugarspiceandglitter.com/paper-chain-kindness/
  1. Here’s a great challenge any class could do - https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/1167-smile-at-10-strangers
  1. Here’s a free printable game for empathy - http://www.momentsaday.com/empathy-game/
  1. Demonstrate empathy and kindness by helping another student learn a skill - https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/983-help-someone-learn
  1. Become a empathetic listener in one-minute - http://www.therelationshipfoundation.org/empathy.html
  1. Want to make a huge difference in someone’s life? Write a letter and tell them how important they are to you - https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/912-write-a-letter-to-someone-who-made-a-difference-in-your-life
  1. Build empathy through problems solving with these techniques for HS students - http://rak-materials.s3.amazonaws.com/cde/en/Problem-Solving-Strategies.pdf

#EverydayEmpathy – October: Being Courageous

 

Welcome to October. This month focuses on creating opportunities to be courageous and act from a position of courage when experiencing empathy. Learning to embrace the role of “upstander”, for example, requires use to experience empathy and courage. The following 31 activities, lessons and resources are designed to provide students and staff with opportunities to strengthen courage and empathy through action. Some of these activities are stand-alone lessons, and others tie into common core curriculum areas. There are videos, Ted Talks, articles, lesson plans, and more.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

 

  1. Teaching courage to middle school students - http://www.goodcharacter.com/ISOC/Courage.html
  1. Instill Courage Lesson Plan (pages 67-71) - https://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. An empathy lesson for High School students - https://classroom.kidshealth.org/classroom/9to12/personal/growing/empathy.pdf
  1. The Power of Collective Empathy – Ted Talk - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCfdSA3xcxw
  1. Weekly kindness activities you can do at school - http://kindness-matters.org/weekly-kindness-challenge/
  1. Great ideas to teach empathy and moral courage - http://info.character.org/blog/empathy-guide
  1. Want to teach students what “Upstander” behavior looks like? Start here - http://www.bullybust.org/educators/upstander-behavior
  1. Activities that can be used for more than “Anti-bully” campaigns - http://peacefulschoolsinternational.org/wp-content/uploads/50_ideas_for_anti_bullying_week.pdf
  1. Using improv and theatre to teach empathy and compassion - http://animalearning.com/2012/08/29/fresh-start-10-improv-games-to-develop-courage-compassion-and-creativity/
  1. Video therapy is a proven way to promote and teach empathy, as well as develop additional SEL skills Here is a list of movies that inspire - https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/movies-that-inspire-empathy
  1. Want students to come up with random acts of kindness and empathy? Here is a great blog for ideas - http://www.arkprojectnow.com/blog/
  1. Reimagining Empathy – a Ted Talk - https://youtu.be/e4aHb_GTRVo
  1. Newsletters and weekly emails to help youth develop moral courage - http://www.youthfrontiers.org/resources/
  1. A life in service to others is another great way to build and act on empathy. Here are some suggestions you can use with students - https://www.learningtogive.org/units/character-education-courage-grade-6/everyday-courage
  1. School-wide ideas to create more “upstanders” - http://bullybust.org/_documents/educators/BestPractices_ComprehensiveBullyPrevention.pdf
  1. Empathy development for kids and adults (using videos) - http://lovingleader.org/empathy/
  1. Elementary activities to build and develop moral courage and character - http://www.elementaryschoolcounseling.org/ce-courage.html
  1. A quick list of inspirational videos to inspire kindness and empathy - http://www.edutopia.org/blog/film-festival-kindness-empathy-connection
  1. Great list of movies to use to teach moral courage, empathy and compassion - http://www.teachwithmovies.org/ethical-emphasis-index.htm
  1. Ideas to use beyond RAK week - http://www.kidactivities.net/category/random-acts-of-kindness.aspx
  1. General lesson plan on courage - http://schools.cms.k12.nc.us/beverlywoodsES/Documents/Marchcourage.pdf
  1. A great film for elementary and middle school to start the conversation about LGBTQI youth - http://www.welcomingschools.org/our-films/what-do-you-know/
  1. Videos that explore what empathy is and what it means. You may have seen some of these before, but this is a powerful list - http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2014/02/20/8-videos-exploring-empathy/
  1. An article about teaching empathy to young adults - https://www.originsonline.org/newsletters/winter-2008-dd/teaching-empathy-young-adolescents
  1. A lesson in courage for elementary school - http://www.rocksolidcharacter.com/PDFs/GET_GRIP_Curriculum_5-6.pdf
  1. Tips for teaching happiness and empathy in schools - http://www.projecthappiness.org/wp-content/uploads/Project-Happiness-Teacher-Resources.pdf
  1. Nurturing empathy and upstander behavior starts with shared community expectations - http://bullybust.org/_documents/educators/howdowewantourclasstobe.pdf
  1. A variety of tools and products to help build empathy skills on campus - http://www.peacepraxis.com/resources/
  1. Teaching kids to make moral decisions - http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/profdev055.shtml
  1. Incredible lessons to build compassion and empathy for LGBTQI youth and diversity - http://www.welcomingschools.org/resources/lesson-plans/
  1. Activities that promote upstander behavior - http://www.bullybust.org/educators/activities

 

#EverydayEmpathy – September: Understanding and Respecting our Similarities and Differences

 

Welcome to September. We’ve traveled along this empathy road for 8 months together. And what a wonderful road it has been. We’ve learned about building communities, develop self-awareness and social awareness, and building compassion for others. September’s focus is moving from compassion to empathy. To do this, we must shift from our understanding of what WE would do in another’s shoes, to understanding and respecting another person’s decisions. In order to develop this skill, we must embrace both our shared human experiences, as well as a clear understanding of the ways in which we differ.

The 30 resources, lessons and activities below are designed to provide students and staff with opportunities to explore our shared human experiences, as well as begin to name and respect our differences. Some of these activities are stand-alone lessons, and others tie into common core curriculum areas. There are videos, Ted Talks, articles, lesson plans, and more.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

 

  1. Building life skills and empathy into the curriculum - http://www.edutopia.org/blog/empathy-lesson-plan-life-skill-joe-hirsch
  1. Empathy Exit Ticket Lesson Plan - https://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. An amazing experiment in empathy: A Ted Talk - https://www.ted.com/talks/sam_richards_a_radical_experiment_in_empathy?language=en
  1. Me and We: Learning how to share diverse ideas - http://character.org/lessons/lesson-plans/middle/rosa-international-middle-school/
  1. High School Empathy - http://www.tolerance.org/supplement/developing-empathy-high-school
  1. Learning conflict resolution skills as part of empathy training - http://character.org/lessons/lesson-plans/high/hinsdale-central-high-school/
  1. Acting on Shared Values – a lesson plan: http://ethicsed.org/files/documents/teachers-guide.pdf
  1. The power of embracing both “otherness” and “oneness”: A Ted Talk - http://www.ted.com/talks/thandie_newton_embracing_otherness_embracing_myself
  1. A great list of needs and feelings: A good foundational tool for developing communication, trust and empathy - http://www.therelationshipfoundation.org/assets/needs-and-feelings-schools-5_03_16.pdf
  1. Inspirational video that celebrates diversity in all of its forms - https://youtu.be/2_q4u45Vg6s
  1. Developing Empathy through role play activities (High School) - https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/secondary-education-resources/lesson-plan-ideas/lesson-2-developing-empathy
  1. Activities for understanding and respecting diversity - http://www.edutopia.org/discussion/activities-understanding-respect-and-diversity
  1. A great lesson that celebrates uniqueness - http://character.org/lessons/lesson-plans/elementary/allen-creek-elementary-school/
  1. Soulpancake brings “Make a Friend” - https://youtu.be/HfHV4-N2LxQ
  1. A variety of lessons using common core activities to build shared values - http://ethicsed.org/activities
  1. Understanding compassion and empathy: A Ted Talk - https://www.ted.com/talks/joan_halifax
  1. A middle school lesson in acceptance - http://character.org/lessons/lesson-plans/middle/fort-bend-independent-school-district/
  1. Teaching Diversity - http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/okay-different-teaching-diversity-890.html?tab=4
  1. Teaching diversity in Middle School - http://www.tolerance.org/supplement/developing-empathy-middle-grades
  1. Exploring diversity: An elementary school lesson - http://character.org/lessons/lesson-plans/elementary/mark-twain-elementary-school/
  1. Building community through shared values: a blog article - https://rryshke.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/shared-values-glue-that-binds-us/
  1. Everyone has a story underneath the surface. What’s yours - https://youtu.be/AZ-pU7ozt3g
  1. We have more in common than we know - https://youtu.be/tyaEQEmt5ls
  1. A mountain of resources for teaching diversity - http://www.diversitycouncil.org/teacher-resources
  1. Discovering your values: A lesson plan for middle school - http://www.goodcharacter.com/BCBC/Values.html
  1. The Power of Empathy: An animated lesson - http://www.openculture.com/2013/12/the-power-of-empathy.html
  1. A core values lesson for elementary school - http://character.org/lessons/lesson-plans/elementary/henry-raab-elementary-school/
  1. How to honor student experiences in the classroom - http://www.tolerance.org/publication/classroom-culture
  1. Part of understanding our similarities and differences is learning to listen. Try these fabulous tips - http://www.therelationshipfoundation.org/assets/empathy-art-of-listening.pdf
  1. Incredible lessons related to empathy, diversity and bias for all grades - http://www.glsen.org/educate/resources/lesson-plans

 

#EverydayEmpathy – August: Developing Social Literacy

 

Happy August. For many of you, that means back-to-school season. For this month’s focus, we are looking at social literacy and relationship skills. In order for children to develop their empathy skills, they need to be both socially aware and develop strong relationship skills. These skills enable our kids to not only recognize the behavior and emotions of others, but be able to change perspectives and develop empathy.

The 31 resources, lessons and activities below are designed to provide opportunities for students to develop social awareness, strengthen relationship skills and develop empathy. Some of these activities are stand-alone lessons, and others tie into common core curriculum areas. There are videos, Ted Talks, articles, lesson plans, and more.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

 

  1. Why social intelligence matters - http://www.scienceofpeople.com/2011/01/social-intelligence/
  1. Teaching Relationship Skills - http://www.pbisworld.com/tier-1/teach-relationship-skills/
  1. Developing social literacy: a collection of lessons - http://character.org/lessons/lesson-plans/
  1. Lessons to teach young children social awareness using social studies - http://www.cengage.com/resource_uploads/downloads/1111837155_306922.pdf
  1. Want to help kids make friends? Try a ball-pit - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfHV4-N2LxQ&list=PLvzOwE5lWqhQWsPsW5PQQ5gj5OBewwgUw&index=2
  1. The Big List of social skill lessons for Middle School - http://www.cccoe.net/social/skillslist.htm
  1. Remembering the power of relationships with kids: A Ted Talk with Rita Pierson - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFnMTHhKdkw&list=PLvzOwE5lWqhQWsPsW5PQQ5gj5OBewwgUw&index=1
  1. Understanding social dynamics, a Ted Talk with David Brooks - https://www.ted.com/talks/david_brooks_the_social_animal?language=en
  1. Kindness and social awareness go hand-in-hand - https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/
  1. Educator resources to teach happiness and build social literacy - http://projecthappiness.org/educational-resources/
  1. Integrate Social-Emotional Learning into the Common Core; It’s not as Hard as It Seems - http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_integrate_social_emotional_learning_into_common_core
  1. Building Social Intelligence through Gratitude: An Amazing Ted Talk about the art of saying thanks - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNfAnkojhoE
  1. More lessons to build social awareness - http://education.byu.edu/buildingsocialskills/lesson-plans - socialawareness
  1. Using Reading to teach social awareness skills - http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2003/09/17/03selman.h23.html
  1. RULER and teaching social intelligence - http://ei.yale.edu/what-we-do/teaching-emotional-intelligence/
  1. Teaching students with exceptional needs social skills - http://specialed.about.com/od/characterbuilding/
  1. HS curriculum that uses literature to teach relationship skills - http://www.dibbleinstitute.org/the-art-of-loving-well/
  1. Kindness is contagious - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwAYpLVyeFU&list=PLvzOwE5lWqhQWsPsW5PQQ5gj5OBewwgUw&index=4
  1. Daniel Goleman asks why we struggle with compassion: A Ted Talk - https://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_goleman_on_compassion?language=en
  1. Build social literacy through kindness campaigns. This site can help - http://dalailamacenter.org/
  1. Understanding social intelligence - https://characterlab.org/tools/social-emotional-intelligence
  2. Teaching social skills to students with FASD - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnL-R-qxvF4
  1. The social benefits to sharing good news: A research article - http://www.psych.rochester.edu/people/reis_harry/assets/pdf/GableReisImpettAsher_2004.pdf
  1. Increase kindness and you increase social literacy - https://thinkkindness.org/
  1. Rachel’s challenge can help build social-emotional skills - http://rachelschallenge.org/
  1. How the language we use determines inclusivity - https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/05/18/why-the-language-we-use-about-learning-determines-inclusivity/
  1. The importance of teaching social-emotional learning to teens - https://hbr.org/2015/05/teaching-teenagers-to-develop-their-emotional-intelligence
  1. Build social awareness by teaching tolerance - http://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources
  1. A quick resource to build emotional intelligence skills - http://dovetaillearning.org/toolbox/the-12-tools/
  1. Teaching the whole child - http://www.gtlcenter.org/sites/default/files/TeachingtheWholeChild.pdf
  1. Quick help for parents on developing social intelligence in children - http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/socially-intelligent

#EverydayEmpathy – July: The Art of Play

 

Happy July! As many of you are enjoy the long days of summer, it seemed fitting to focus on playtime this month. This month we are focusing on the development of empathy and social awareness through playtime, both structured and unstructured. We live in a fast-paced world. In an effort to keep up with ever-increasing demands on instructional time, many schools have shortened recess and unstructured time on campus. However, these unstructured social opportunities provided practice time for our children to focus on social skills and cooperative problem solving. It is where empathy development begins. Focusing on these opportunities within the classroom, as well as during recess and lunch is a great way to strengthen social awareness and empathy.

The 31 resources, lessons and activities below are designed to provide opportunities to develop playtime skills, social awareness and empathy. Some of these activities are stand-alone lessons, and others tie into common core curriculum areas. There are videos, Ted Talks, articles, lesson plans, and more.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

 

  1. Looking for a fun way to energize your students after lunch? Try this engaging activity (on page 42 of the guide) that builds listening skills and empathy - http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. Recess 4 times a day? YES! http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/01/04/more-playtime-how-kids-succeed-with-recess-four-times-a-day-at-school/
  1. Looking for project-based learning activities for ELA and Math at any grade? Check out this resource - http://bie.org/project_search
  1. The connection between a lack of playtime and increased anxiety in kids and teens - http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/10/all-work-and-no-play-why-your-kids-are-more-anxious-depressed/246422/
  1. Stuart Brown explains the importance of playtime in this Ted talk - https://www.ted.com/talks/stuart_brown_says_play_is_more_than_fun_it_s_vital?language=en
  1. Understanding the importance of playtime in school - http://importanceofplay.eu/blog/article/playtime-in-schools-makes-children
  1. Huge resource for teaching social awareness and empathy - http://www.actforyouth.net/youth_development/professionals/sel/social_awareness.cfm
  1. Google has great resources to bring play into the classroom and inspire learning - https://www.google.com/edu/products/class-content/
  1. Isabel Behncke explains how societies benefit and learn from play – in the wild and at home. A TED talk - https://www.ted.com/talks/isabel_behncke_evolution_s_gift_of_play_from_bonobo_apes_to_humans
  1. An example of exploration and play in high school - http://www.promys.org/sites/promys.org/files/assets/Learning in the Spirit of Exploration by Glenn Stevens.pdf
  1. Focus on school culture and playtime with this fun activity on page 40 of the guide - http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. Playtime in elementary school: A guide for administrators - http://www.naesp.org/principal-septemberoctober-2013-early-learning/it-s-playtime
  1. Maybe the best “homework” is play - http://importanceofplay.eu/blog/article/homework-that-makes-a-difference
  1. Turning trash into toys that teach science: An exciting premise (TED talk) - https://www.ted.com/talks/arvind_gupta_turning_trash_into_toys_for_learning
  1. Building unstructured play into the day - https://www.scilearn.com/blog/unstructured-play
  1. Play in education: Why it’s important - http://usplaycoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/PRTM-Play-Coalition-White-Paper.pdf
  1. Stress Psychologist Jane McGonigal talks about video games and problem solving. A TED talk - https://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world
  1. Passion-based learning offers new opportunities for engagement and connection - http://www.edutopia.org/is-school-enough-informal-learning-resources
  1. Evidence to support the power of play in schools - http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/124800/factsheet15_benefits_playtime_cpis_011210.pdf
  1. Resources for building social awareness at every grade - http://character.org/lessons/lesson-plans/
  1. Gaming is making us smarter through problem-solving. Gabe Zimmerman can show us how (A TED talk) -https://www.ted.com/talks/gabe_zichermann_how_games_make_kids_smarter
  1. Need ideas for SEL activities and play that supports social-emotional development? Check out Pinterest! https://www.pinterest.com/explore/social-emotional-learning/
  1. MHS Unplugged: a great example of recess and high school - http://www.edutopia.org/practice/recess-high-school-students
  1. How creative thinking and play go hand in hand: A TED talk by Tim Brown https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_brown_on_creativity_and_play
  1. Why play and learning go hand-in-hand - https://www.naeyc.org/content/research-news-you-can-use-play-vs-learning
  1. Resources to build social skills through activities and play - http://www.cccoe.net/social/skillslist.htm
  1. 40% of the school day in Shanghai is spent playing. Americans may want to take note - http://qz.com/554780/america-is-wrong-to-think-reducing-kids-playtime-will-improve-academic-performance/
  1. Tons of project-based learning activities to enhance collaboration skills - https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/the-pbl-super-highway-over-45-links-to-great-project-based-learning/
  1. Playfulness in High School: the missing component - https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/07/24/how-to-bring-playfulness-to-high-school-students/
  1. Gever Tulley tells us why a little danger and play is necessary for our kids in this TED talk - https://www.ted.com/talks/gever_tulley_on_5_dangerous_things_for_kids
  1. Why teens benefit from playtime too - http://time.com/3726098/learning-through-play-teenagers-education/

 

 

#EverydayEmpathy – June: Cooperative Problem Solving

 

Welcome to June! This month we are focusing on the development of empathy through creative and cooperative problem solving. By focusing on group problem solving strategies, students develop both perspective and teamwork skills. These lead to strengthening empathy. Building on both the storytelling from April and the perspective taking from May, this enable enables us to put into practice some of those skills. Furthermore, cooperative problem solving is a necessary 21st century skill, and one that is a cornerstone to the development of empathy.

The 30 resources, lessons and activities below are designed to provide opportunities to develop basic problem solving skills, perspective-taking and teamwork. Some of these activities are stand-alone lessons, and others tie into common core curriculum areas. There are videos, Ted Talks, articles, lesson plans, and more.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

 

  1. Cooperative problem solving lessons for middle schoolers - http://illuminations.nctm.org/Lesson.aspx?id=1037
  1. A fascinating look at the problem of trash, and finding solutions: A Ted Talk - http://www.ted.com/talks/robin_nagle_what_i_discovered_in_new_york_city_trash
  1. Using collaborative problem-solving skills in math - http://minds-in-bloom.com/2012/05/cooperative-math-problem-solving.html
  1. Teaching complex problem solving skills - http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663416/teaching-kids-design-thinking-so-they-can-solve-the-worlds-biggest-problems
  1. Games to build critical thinking skills and develop teamwork - http://www.teachthought.com/critical-thinking/10-team-building-games-that-promote-critical-thinking/
  1. Childhood innovation – children solve complex problems - http://www.fastcoexist.com/3038720/futurist-forum/kids-solve-the-most-pressing-urban-problems-with-designs-youd-never-think-up
  1. Making the case for creative problem solving - http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/lifelonglearning/workplace/articles/problem-solving/
  1. Promoting peace through cooperative play - http://www2.peacefirst.org/digitalactivitycenter/files/cooperative_games_toolkit_10.30.2012.pdf
  1. Creative problem solving in the face of scarcity: A Ted Talk - https://www.ted.com/talks/navi_radjou_creative_problem_solving_in_the_face_of_extreme_limits?language=en
  1. Developing problem-solving skills in STEM classroom through team-building activities - https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/team-building-activities-that-support-maker-education-stem-and-steam/
  1. The differences between cooperation and collaboration, including lesson plan activities - https://americanenglish.state.gov/files/ae/resource_files/48_2-etf-towards-better-group-work-seeing-the-difference-between-cooperation-and-collaboration.pdf
  1. Perspective-taking: A lesson in empathy - https://www.ted.com/talks/sam_richards_a_radical_experiment_in_empathy?language=en
  1. Using Problem-based learning in the classroom - http://www.studygs.net/pbl.htm
  1. Teacher resources for problem solving and collaboration - http://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/edutopia-teaching-for-meaningful-learning.pdf
  1. Check out these resources for solving big problems from StartEmpathy.org (The specific exercises are on page 56-58) - http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. Teacher Tips for developing problem solving skills - https://www.nde-ed.org/TeachingResources/ClassroomTips/Problem-solving.htm
  1. Got a big problem to solve? Start with the simple ones: A Ted Talk by Tom Wujec - http://www.ted.com/talks/tom_wujec_got_a_wicked_problem_first_tell_me_how_you_make_toast
  1. Cooperative problem-solving lesson video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5vJSNXPEwA
  1. Teaching creative problem solving with Odyssey of the Mind - https://www.odysseyofthemind.com/curriculum.php
  1. Problem-solving and team building through games – https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/team-building-activities-that-support-maker-education-stem-and-steam/
  1. K-8 cooperative problem solving games -http://www.teachhub.com/6-awesome-cooperative-classroom-games
  1. Get a #FREE Critical Thinking Workbook! - http://hub.globaldigitalcitizen.org/download-critical-thinking-workbook
  1. The Paper Bridge – an introduction to problem solving - http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/3050?ref=search
  1. Perceptive-taking activities for the classroom - http://www.creducation.org/resources/perception_checking/classroom_activities_on_perspective_taking.html
  1. Creating the culture of problem-solving - https://globaldigitalcitizen.org/5-steps-to-a-problem-solving-classroom-culture
  1. Cooperative problem-solving in math - https://nrich.maths.org/2547
  1. Tons of “spontaneous” activities from Odyssey of the Mind designed to teach problem solving and creativity - http://nepaootm.com/wp/?page_id=9
  1. Why collaboration is important in schools - http://www.edutopia.org/team-building-and-collaboration
  1. Setting up a collaborative classroom - http://www.edutopia.org/blog/deeper-learning-collaboration-key-rebecca-alber
  1. Collaborative learning and EL students - https://eal.britishcouncil.org/teachers/great-ideas-collaborative-activities

#EverydayEmpathy – May:

CULTURAL AWARENESS and IMMERSION

 

May focuses on building empathy through cultural awareness. Building on the storytelling from April, this month takes a look at the tapestry of culture that surrounds us and seeks to increase empathy by understanding each other’s unique cultural and community perspectives. Immersion into each other’s lives allows us to deepen our understanding and begin to focus on the deep connections we share as humanity. This, too, adds to our development of empathy.

The 31 resources, lessons and activities below are designed to provide opportunities for immersion, as well as deepen our cultural and community awareness. There are videos, Ted Talks, articles, lesson plans, and more.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

 

  1. Great toolkit for educators to build cultural awareness within the classroom - http://www.afsusa.org/educators/teachers-toolbox/
  1. Embracing what connects us instead of what divides us: A Ted Talk from Thandie Newton that celebrates “otherness” - https://www.ted.com/talks/thandie_newton_embracing_otherness_embracing_myself?language=en
  1. Diversity training is about more than culture and race. Here are lessons to help students understanding disabilities - http://www.dvusd.org/cms/lib011/AZ01901092/Centricity/Domain/1318/Disability Awareness Packet 2.pdf
  1. Exploring each other’s cultures and heritage: A Lesson Plan - http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/celebrate-your-heritage
  1. Preschool and early elementary school activities to teach diversity and tolerance - http://www.pbs.org/kcts/preciouschildren/diversity/read_activities.html
  1. Developing cultural awareness in teachers: Three tips - https://teachingexcellenceprogram.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/3-ways-teachers-can-increase-their-cultural-awareness-2/
  1. Share stories and film through video and biblio-therapy. Needs some ideas for books? Check out this list - http://www.ala.org/tools/atoz/bibliotherapy
  1. Teaching tolerance to children: resources and lesson plans - http://www.tolerance.org/activities
  1. Using humor to build bridges and challenge stereotypes: A lesson from a Ted Talks video - https://learningneverstops.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/maz-jobrani-did-you-hear-about-the-iranian-american/
  1. Fantastic video idea about diversity. Easily adaptable to use at your school, made by your students file://localhost/- https/::youtu.be:SkkJkNqKotM
  1. Learning how to talk about race - http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/its-not-so-black-and-white
  1. Powerful lessons to teach middle and high school students about diversity - https://nationalsave.org/pdf/action_diversity.pdf
  1. A bullying quiz for your students - http://www.tolerance.org/lesson/bullying-quiz
  1. Developing cultural competencies and understanding multi-culturalism: A new look - https://youtu.be/U5rKgDOs33U
  1. Check out these resources for immersion from StartEmpathy.org (The specific exercises are on page 52-54) - http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. Beyond race and cultural: being inclusive of LGBT youth - http://www.tolerance.org/lgbt-best-practices
  1. A surprising look at cultural awareness from TedTalks - https://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_weird_or_just_different?language=en
  1. Using Google Expeditions to build cultural awareness and immersion opportunities - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlYJdZeA9w4
  1. Teacher printables for cultural awareness and diversity lessons - https://www.teachervision.com/diversity/teacher-resources/33631.html
  1. The research behind cultural immersion - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265323118_The_Cultural_Plunge_Cultural_Immersion_as_a_Means_of_Promoting_Self-Awareness_and_Cultural_Sensitivity_among_Student_Teachers
  1. One high school group’s award-winning video about diversity - http://latinalista.com/general/nyc-high-school-students-create-winning-video-about-appreciating-diversity
  1. Extensive list of lessons to build cultural awareness in our classrooms - http://www.uen.org/mcst/lessons.html
  1. Teaching cultural awareness in the classroom: 6 ideas you can use now - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-lynch-edd/6-ways-teachers-can-foste_b_6294328.html
  1. Learning to communicate with diverse families - http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/connect-kids-and-parents-different-cultures-0
  1. Elementary school lesson regarding family and diversity - http://www.tolerance.org/lesson/family-tapestry
  1. Why it is important to embrace multiple stories: A TedTalk video - http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story?language=en
  1. Diversity activities for the classroom - http://mep.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/PSU_Diversity_activities.pdf
  1. Energizing community and culture through diversity - https://youtu.be/HxCvgF1-Cow
  1. Using social cartoons to teach tolerance to teens - http://www.tolerance.org/activity/using-editorial-cartoons-teach-social-justice
  1. Teaching multi-cultural perspectives through literature - http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/understanding-characters-and-cultures
  1. Inclusion and exclusions, why we must look at these: A Tedx talk about the brain’s tendency to distort - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdV8OpXhl2g

 

 

#EverydayEmpathy – April: EVERYDAY STORIES

 

April focuses on building empathy through story telling. More than simply understanding our own stories, the focus is on perspective-taking, understanding stories within the community and using these increasing perspectives to build our empathy skills.

The 30 resources, lessons and activities below were chosen to help you understand the power of stories on the mind, how to use stories in the classroom to develop empathy and ways to incorporate storytelling and perspective into daily curriculum. There are videos, Ted Talks, articles, lesson plans, and more.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

  1. Tolerance lesson to increase community and empathy - http://www.tolerance.org/lesson/my-family-rocks
  1. Virtual reality and storytelling: a key to developing empathy from Ted Talks - https://www.ted.com/talks/chris_milk_how_virtual_reality_can_create_the_ultimate_empathy_machine
  1. Teaching empathy in class with digital storytelling - http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teach-empathy-digital-immigration-stories-sara-burnett
  1. Using bibliotherapy to develop empathy - http://www.learningandthebrain.com/blog/fiction/
  1. Several examples of storytelling lesson plans from StartEmpathy.org (pgs 39-48) - https://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. Stories for kids that build empathy - https://sites.google.com/a/wautoma.k12.wi.us/character-education/stories-about-empathy
  1. 5-minutes films to promote empathy - http://www.edutopia.org/blog/film-festival-kindness-empathy-connection
  1. Creating avenues for teens to share their stories builds empathy - http://www.npr.org/2014/05/23/307753290/at-pa-school-teens-build-empathy-by-confiding-in-a-crowd
  1. Experiential learning in the classroom; a way to develop empathy - http://www.edutopia.org/blog/out-of-eden-experiential-learning-homa-tavangar
  1. Why storytelling works for building empathy, in storytelling and in life - https://zapier.com/blog/power-of-empathy/
  1. Building empathy and compassion through sharing our stories – Ted Talk - https://www.ted.com/talks/dave_isay_everyone_around_you_has_a_story_the_world_needs_to_hear
  1. More ways stories can enhance empathy. Why not have your class write their own “chicken soup for the soul” stories? - http://choices.scholastic.com/blog/celebrate-chicken-soup-soul-day-stories-teach-empathy
  1. Why being a good storyteller is an important skill for teachers - http://www.edutopia.org/groups/professional-developmentpersonal-learning-network/41423
  1. An example of storytelling and empathy in a 1st grade classroom - https://youtu.be/dXpuRu5ZC1c
  1. Using families stories to teach diversity and empathy - http://www.tolerance.org/lesson/every-family-same-every-family-different
  1. Using shared experiences to teach about mental illness and empathy (Tedx) - https://youtu.be/5q9Te6FMLmw
  1. Perspective and empathy through story retelling - http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/transt.pd.lpempathy/developing-empathy-through-retold-fairy-tales/
  1. Extensive list of resources to teach perspective-taking - https://jillkuzma.wordpress.com/perspective-taking-skills/teaching-ideas/
  1. Perspective-taking lesson plan - http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/spend-shoes-exploring-role-265.html
  1. Bibliotherapy book list for teens with anxiety -http://www.slj.com/2014/11/teens-ya/bibliotherapy-for-teens-helpful-tips-and-recommended-fiction/ - _
  1. Video created completely by 8th grade students. Can your students do something similar? - https://youtu.be/aU3QfyqvHk8
  1. Learning empathy by studying how animation great, Pixar, builds character empathy - https://youtu.be/-LeKeyvbFuw
  1. Storytelling and the brain - http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_stories_change_brain
  1. The Power of Perspective - http://www.edutopia.org/blog/project-happiness-power-of-perspective-randy-taran
  1. Elementary school lesson regarding family and diversity - http://www.tolerance.org/lesson/family-tapestry
  1. Learning others’ stories to build empathy in middle school - http://www.learningtogive.org/units/investing-others-6-8/challenges-people-face
  1. Historical perspective as a way to also teach empathy - http://www.usd116.org/profdev/ahtc/lessons/Adrian06/Lesson1/Adrian06lesson1.htm
  1. Point of view and perspective lessons build empathy – Tying the curriculum with SEL - http://betterlesson.com/community/lesson/41832/perspective-and-point-of-view
  1. TedxU brings empathy through storytelling – a great lesson for secondary education - https://youtu.be/r_SAg7SuW_Y
  1. The neurology of storytelling and empathy - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254325829_Mirror_Neurons_The_Development_Of_Empathy_And_Digital_Story_Telling

 

#EverydayEmpathy – March: WALKING THE TALK: ACTIVITIES THAT PROMOTE STAFF WELLNESS AND SEL

 March focuses on school staff. In order for students to develop empathy and integrate it into their lives, it is vital for all school staff to also develop social-emotional learning skills and practice empathy in their daily lives. Policies and procedures should also follow the tenants of social-emotional competencies and empathy. Fortunately, PBIS frameworks provide a strong foundation for the development of SEL and empathy.

The 31 activities listed below focus on staff and adult wellness. Through these daily activities, staff can enhance their own SEL skills and develop the foundation students need in order to develop their SEL and empathy skills.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

 

  1. How skilled are you in SEL? Take this quiz and find out - http://www.edutopia.org/louisville-social-emotional-learning-quiz
  2. Serious about developing your EQ? Checkout out these resources! Amazing - http://eq.org/learn/courses/inspired/
  3. Learn more about well-being and what it entails through this fabulous video - https://youtu.be/HeBpsiFQiTI
  4. Looking for some good ways to decipher student behavior and build your own SEL skills at the same time? Check out the “Meeting the ABCDE needs” lesson on page 30 of the toolkit - http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  5. Sometimes perspective leads to the gift of empathy, compassion and happiness - https://youtu.be/apbSsILLh28
  6. A fun and humorous, not to mention important, look at how to deliver self-care during the second semester of school - https://aisdsel.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/real-teachers-talk-second-semester-self-care/
  7. Enhance your group work with the power of emotions - http://www.6seconds.org/2016/02/19/group-emotions-and-leadership/
  8. 20 activities that increase personal happiness - http://familyshare.com/growth/get-happy-20-scientifically-proven-happiness-activities
  9. Feeling frustrated and burned out? Start a gratitude journal to turn your mindset around fast. Three good things everyday. Yes, it really is that easy.
  10. Remembering to recharge! - http://www.mindfulteachers.org/2014/01/recharge-and-avoid-burnout.html
  11. The power of sleep. Yes, that’s right…SLEEP - https://youtu.be/nncY-MA1Iu8
  12. 5 strategies that increase your mental health and well-being - http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/improve-mental-wellbeing.aspx
  13. Stress and wellness, the surprising truth - http://www.6seconds.org/2015/07/22/neuroscience-stress-good/
  14. Not sure how to start building your SEL skills and emotional literacy? This can help - http://www.edutopia.org/blog/developing-teachers-social-emotional-skills-lorea-martinez
  15. The importance of self-compassion - http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/self_compassion_for_teachers
  16. Why mindfulness in the workplace is so helpful - http://brightonandhoveindependent.co.uk/making-a-meaningful-impact-in-the-workplace-through-mindfulness/
  17. A jam-packed resource to add more happiness to your life - http://www.actionforhappiness.org/media/80216/happiness_action_pack.pdf
  18. The power of “thank you” - https://youtu.be/ag-Oyn8vIPE
  19. How mindful are you…really? Take this quiz and find out - http://www.mindfulteachers.org/2015/04/how-mindful-am-i-quiz.html
  20. Take charge of your happiness - http://www.6seconds.org/2014/05/17/take-ownership-happiness/
  21. The importance of connecting with people and not just your phone - http://my.happify.com/hd/pick-up-this-instead-of-your-phone/
  22. Want to develop compassion and empathy? Learn to be vulnerable - https://youtu.be/iCvmsMzlF7o
  23. Gratitude is an often forgotten key to wellness - http://www.6seconds.org/2014/11/26/gift-gratitude/
  24. Need a little inspiration these days? Watch this - https://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion?language=en
  25. The importance of being empathetic - http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept03/vol61/num01/What-Empathy-Can-Do.aspx
  26. Developing Compassion - https://youtu.be/r3wyCxHtGd0
  27. Before you focus on building student SEL skills, focus on enhancing your EQ - http://www.6seconds.org/2010/01/27/the-six-seconds-eq-model/
  28. The importance of self-care - http://www.edutopia.org/discussion/7-self-care-strategies-teachers
  29. The importance of work-home balance and how to achieve it - http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2014/dec/10/ten-tips-teachers-worklife-balance
  30. Bringing empathy into your teaching style - http://www.teachhub.com/teaching-strategies-importance-empathy
  31. The power of perspective and grit - https://youtu.be/YrZTho_o_is

#EverydayEmpathy – February: DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL LITERACY

February focuses on developing emotional literacy through the development of the #SEL skills of self-awareness and self-management. These skills are the cornerstone to empathy and involve the following components:

  • Identifying one’s emotions
  • Connecting thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  • Mindfulness
  • Optimism
  • Emotional regulation
  • Stress management
  • Autonomy over one’s action

The 29 activities below are all designed to build emotional literacy throughout the K-12 experience. Most of the activities involve embedded social-emotional learning components into typical academic activities, tying the SEL strategies directly to common core learning. As students develop emotional literacy, they are better able to control their emotional reactions instead of being victim to them. They are also better able to develop empathy and compassion for others.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

 

  1. Develop an emotional vocabulary. Have students work with the “feelings” words to deepen meaning. http://www.scribd.com/doc/91719618/Social-Emotional-Dictionary-with-Exercises
  1. Use the stories in ELA and social studies to help children learn to recognize emotions. Have students determine what characters are feeling based on the author’s descriptions.
  1. Connect emotions to personal experiences with this activity - http://heartmindonline.org/resources/lesson-plan-extend-emotional-literacy
  1. Practice recognizing and understanding emotions with this “Blank face” activity - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/233624299393597308/
  1. Build self-management by teaching children the “Stop.Breath.Listen. Respond” method. (Page 22 of StartEmpathy.org Toolkit) - http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. Have students keep an emotion journal throughout the week/month, a place where they can jot down when they are reacting emotionally to something. Talk about the entries in class, tying it back to feelings-thoughts-behaviors.
  1. Using visuals to discuss emotions can help younger children. Here are several great activities that can illustrate how emotions impact our actions. http://www.tnvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/A-Collection-of-Social-Emotional-Lesson-Plans-Website-Version-3-23-20152.pdf
  1. Increasing our connections to others helps develop emotional literacy. This Circle of Friends activity can help. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/activity-plan-5-6-circle-friends
  1. The Terrific Kids model is a great way to teach emotional literacy. Here is one activity to promote the traits identified in this model - http://kiwaniskids.org/Libraries/Mindful_awareness_reflection_activities/Mindful_awareness_exercise.sflb.ashx
  1. Use the morning meetings discussed in January to discuss feelings and check in with students daily.
  1. Practice managing emotions using a feelings chart. https://www.teachervision.com/depression/printable/33802.html
  1. Bring kindness into the classroom by creating a caring wall - https://rossieronline.usc.edu/bullying-prevention-lesson-plans/
  1. Teach teens about stress and developing coping skills. Use this website to help - http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/emotions/stress_center.html - cat20124
  1. Exploring Kindness builds emotional literacy. Here is a lesson that can help - http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/activity-plan-4-5-kindness-counts
  1. Using literature to teach mindfulness and increase awareness – here’s a great resource to explain how - http://www.mindfulteachers.org/2015/12/mindful-or-mindless-characters.html
  1. Self-management increases as students learn how to cope with stress and other “big” feelings. Here is a great lesson to help developing coping strategies - http://www.educationworld.com/a_tsl/archives/02-1/lesson045.shtml
  1. Help students understand feelings and connect them to thoughts and behaviors. http://www.scribd.com/doc/91718686/Facts-About-Feelings
  1. Using art to teach students how to “see” emotions - http://www.albrightknox.org/research/educator-resources/lesson-plans/lesson:seeing-feelings/ - Objectives
  1. Just as books help students develop emotional literacy, so can movies. Here is just one list of movies with themes that address self-esteem and emotional literacy file://localhost/- http/::www.teachwithmovies.org:char-devel-index-6.htm - 35C
  1. Build emotional literacy in teens with this free resource (includes 15 activities) - http://ong.ohio.gov/frg/FRGresources/emotional_intellegence_13-18.pdf
  1. Help students develop mindfulness of speech to increase both emotional awareness and management - http://www.mindfulteachers.org/2014/11/emotion-improv-mindfulness-exercise.html
  1. Use bibliotherapy (books and reading) to teach about bullying and emotional literacy. https://www.teachervision.com/bullies/printable/71426.html
  1. Teach mindfulness. Here is one lesson that can help - http://kiwaniskids.org/Libraries/Mindful_awareness_reflection_activities/Mindful_awareness_exercise.sflb.ashx
  1. Teach young children about stress and self-awareness. This children’s website can help - http://kidshealth.org/kid/feeling/emotion/stress.html - cat20070
  1. Connect emotional literacy to the curriculum by writing biographies. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/activity-plan-4-5-beautiful-biographies
  1. Connect feelings and behaviors to history through biographies and thoughtful questions. This lesson plan can help (scroll down to the “Important figures in human rights” section. https://rossieronline.usc.edu/bullying-prevention-lesson-plans/
  1. Teach students to “read faces” with the “Pass the Face” game. (page 28 of the StartEmpathy.org toolkit) - http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. Use books in the early grades to help students develop emotional literacy. Not sure which books to use? This list will help - https://www.fbmarketplace.org/mitm
  1. Recognizing your internal state is an important part of developing emotional literacy. Try these lessons to help - http://www2.massgeneral.org/schoolpsychiatry/classroom_selfregulation.asp

#EverydayEmpathy – January: BUILDING COMMUNITY

January starts with building communities – both in our classrooms and in our schools. Empathy can not be developed or flourish without a foundation that is safe and secure for students and staff. Actively building communities is the first place to start when creating a safe school climate.

The 31 activities below are all designed to create community within the classroom and school environment. Some are designed for elementary school settings, and some are for middle and high school environments. Many of these can also be extended into the home setting to increase the feeling of connectedness there as well.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

 

  1. Establish and teach classroom expectations that are in alignment with the schools expectations. Involve students in this process to improve class “buy-in” and develop strong learning communities.
  1. “Take what you need” activity from Edutopia article - http://www.edutopia.org/blog/back-to-school-strategy-building-community-anne-shaw
  1. Laughter and connection in the morning builds community. Check out how - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiuAFOv8wvw
  1. “Adopt a school yard” activity – similar to the adopt a highway program, this activity allows a class or grade-level to “adopt” a portion of the school and be responsible for it’s care throughout the upcoming school year.
  1. Write a bio-poem. Here’s a great HS lesson that incorporates Bio-poems - http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/hey-teachers-get-know-me
  1. Team-building activities sprinkled throughout the year. Some great options are the Spontaneous Activities from Odyssey of the Mind. These activities not only build teamwork and community, they can stretch your students’ creative muscles. Here’s a link for some great spontaneous activities - https://www.odysseyofthemind.com/practice/
  1. “Roll a Topic” free circle-time activity from Teachers Pay Teachers – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Roll-A-Topic-Ice-Breaker-Freebie-2024979
  1. “Playing for Empathy” musical chairs game is designed to combat issues of exclusion in an elementary classroom. Click here for the specifics of the game, as well as many additional ideas for games and books that address class community. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/help-they-wont-let-me-play-them
  1. “Do you want to be my friend?” Book activity - http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/do-you-want-be-my-friend-lesson-plan
  1. Do a culture walk. These diversity based activities can help establish safe havens for all students. Check out these specific culture walk lessons for middle school that can be easily adopted for a variety of grades - http://www.partnersagainsthate.org/educators/middle_school_lesson_plans.pdf
  1. Establish a peer leadership on your campus. Research has shown that such groups can help empower students to be a part of positive change and enhance school climate. Peer leaders can also help with establishing strong school communities. Not sure how to start a peer leadership group? Check out this great resource – http://www.partnersagainsthate.org/publications/Peer_Leadership_Guide.pdf
  1. “Back to School Friend Wanted Ads” – this BTS activity provides a great lesson in friendship and how to build and cultivate relationships. http://www.iteachthird.com/2015/07/back-to-school-friend-wanted-ads.html?m=1
  1. Focus on the Six Pillars of Character as a way to begin building school community. Be sure to frequently acknowledge those students demonstrating these character traits - http://charactercounts.org/program-overview/six-pillars/
  1. Teach students about “Giraffe Heroes”. “What are Giraffe Heroes?” you ask. These are people who regularly stick their necks out for others. Teaching children about these everyday heroes can help build community and character within your class environment. Here is a free lesson to start this up in your class. http://web.archive.org/web/20041210150100/http://www.giraffe.org/k12_3.html
  1. Begin to build trust through activities like the “name game”. Trust is necessary in any class or school community. http://www.teachability.com/thread/2222 - .VnmWmJMrKgQ
  1. Establish a routine of morning meetings. Not sure how, here is a resource to get you started. https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/sites/default/files/pdf_files/SMMbooklet.pdf
  1. Use student-led parent conferences as a way to bridge the home-school gap and increase the sense of community. http://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/edutopia-home-to-school-guide.pdf
  1. Call home and send a postcard to celebrate something your student is doing well.
  1. Use small groups within the classroom to get “every voice” in the class. This creates connectedness and a culture of caring. For more ideas, check out this article - http://teaching.colostate.edu/tips/tip.cfm?tipid=136
  1. Consider the classroom physical environment too. Is there “curbside appeal”? Do students have a role in the upkeep of the classroom? This article can provide more tips for creating caring classrooms - http://www.avid.org/dl/eve_natcon/nc11_classroomculturecounts_handout.pdf
  1. Develop an emotional charter with your students for the classroom – a guideline for how kids want to feel at school. Need more information on these? Check out the RULER program - http://ei.yale.edu/ruler/the-anchors-of-emotional-intelligence/
  1. A secret handshake? How cool would that be? Creating secret handshakes taps students’ creativity and builds community. For more information visit https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/blog/greeting-idea-secret-handshake
  1. Sometimes morning meetings are not enough. Providing a time to check in with students later in the day provides another opportunity to build community. Check it out more about afternoon check-ins here http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. Help students feel valued and connected to one another. I Love My Neighbor is a game that can help foster community in the classroom. Go here for more information http://www.playworks.org/blog/game-week-i-love-my-neighbor
  1. If You Really Knew Me gives students an opportunity to share who they are with a partner. Read more about it here http://www.playworks.org/playbook/games/if-you-really-knew-me
  1. Use the power of storytelling to help students find commonalities. Check out This Student’s Life http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. Learning about different families is another way to help students identify similarities and encourage acceptance and empathy. Visit http://www.tolerance.org/lesson/my-family-rocks to learn more about My Family Rocks!
  1. Moving beyond the classroom, encourage your classroom to build relationships with other classrooms. Buddy classes are a great way to do so. For more information, see #7 https://www.originsonline.org/newsletters/winter-2008-dd/teaching-empathy-young-adolescents
  1. What is it like to walk in the shoes of someone else? The following lessons will help you guide students in an exploration of that question. See Sharing Shoes, Sharing Stories at http://www.freethechildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/MiniWeDay-MiddleSchoolUS.pdf
  1. Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? This video offers a simple and brief definition of empathy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_1Rt1R4xbM#t=57
  1. What behaviors, attitudes, and actions contribute to a climate of caring in the classroom? The Peaceable Person Profile allows students a voice in creating the classroom climate they desire. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/help-they-wont-let-me-play-them

#EverydayEmpathy – March: WALKING THE TALK: ACTIVITIES THAT PROMOTE STAFF WELLNESS AND SEL

 March focuses on school staff. In order for students to develop empathy and integrate it into their lives, it is vital for all school staff to also develop social-emotional learning skills and practice empathy in their daily lives. Policies and procedures should also follow the tenants of social-emotional competencies and empathy. Fortunately, PBIS frameworks provide a strong foundation for the development of SEL and empathy.

The 31 activities listed below focus on staff and adult wellness. Through these daily activities, staff can enhance their own SEL skills and develop the foundation students need in order to develop their SEL and empathy skills.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

 

  1. How skilled are you in SEL? Take this quiz and find out - http://www.edutopia.org/louisville-social-emotional-learning-quiz
  2. Serious about developing your EQ? Checkout out these resources! Amazing - http://eq.org/learn/courses/inspired/
  3. Learn more about well-being and what it entails through this fabulous video - https://youtu.be/HeBpsiFQiTI
  4. Looking for some good ways to decipher student behavior and build your own SEL skills at the same time? Check out the “Meeting the ABCDE needs” lesson on page 30 of the toolkit - http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  5. Sometimes perspective leads to the gift of empathy, compassion and happiness - https://youtu.be/apbSsILLh28
  6. A fun and humorous, not to mention important, look at how to deliver self-care during the second semester of school - https://aisdsel.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/real-teachers-talk-second-semester-self-care/
  7. Enhance your group work with the power of emotions - http://www.6seconds.org/2016/02/19/group-emotions-and-leadership/
  8. 20 activities that increase personal happiness - http://familyshare.com/growth/get-happy-20-scientifically-proven-happiness-activities
  9. Feeling frustrated and burned out? Start a gratitude journal to turn your mindset around fast. Three good things everyday. Yes, it really is that easy.
  10. Remembering to recharge! - http://www.mindfulteachers.org/2014/01/recharge-and-avoid-burnout.html
  11. The power of sleep. Yes, that’s right…SLEEP - https://youtu.be/nncY-MA1Iu8
  12. 5 strategies that increase your mental health and well-being - http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/improve-mental-wellbeing.aspx
  13. Stress and wellness, the surprising truth - http://www.6seconds.org/2015/07/22/neuroscience-stress-good/
  14. Not sure how to start building your SEL skills and emotional literacy? This can help - http://www.edutopia.org/blog/developing-teachers-social-emotional-skills-lorea-martinez
  15. The importance of self-compassion - http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/self_compassion_for_teachers
  16. Why mindfulness in the workplace is so helpful - http://brightonandhoveindependent.co.uk/making-a-meaningful-impact-in-the-workplace-through-mindfulness/
  17. A jam-packed resource to add more happiness to your life - http://www.actionforhappiness.org/media/80216/happiness_action_pack.pdf
  18. The power of “thank you” - https://youtu.be/ag-Oyn8vIPE
  19. How mindful are you…really? Take this quiz and find out - http://www.mindfulteachers.org/2015/04/how-mindful-am-i-quiz.html
  20. Take charge of your happiness - http://www.6seconds.org/2014/05/17/take-ownership-happiness/
  21. The importance of connecting with people and not just your phone - http://my.happify.com/hd/pick-up-this-instead-of-your-phone/
  22. Want to develop compassion and empathy? Learn to be vulnerable - https://youtu.be/iCvmsMzlF7o
  23. Gratitude is an often forgotten key to wellness - http://www.6seconds.org/2014/11/26/gift-gratitude/
  24. Need a little inspiration these days? Watch this - https://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion?language=en
  25. The importance of being empathetic - http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept03/vol61/num01/What-Empathy-Can-Do.aspx
  26. Developing Compassion - https://youtu.be/r3wyCxHtGd0
  27. Before you focus on building student SEL skills, focus on enhancing your EQ - http://www.6seconds.org/2010/01/27/the-six-seconds-eq-model/
  28. The importance of self-care - http://www.edutopia.org/discussion/7-self-care-strategies-teachers
  29. The importance of work-home balance and how to achieve it - http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2014/dec/10/ten-tips-teachers-worklife-balance
  30. Bringing empathy into your teaching style - http://www.teachhub.com/teaching-strategies-importance-empathy
  31. The power of perspective and grit - https://youtu.be/YrZTho_o_is

#EverydayEmpathy – February: DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL LITERACY

February focuses on developing emotional literacy through the development of the #SEL skills of self-awareness and self-management. These skills are the cornerstone to empathy and involve the following components:

  • Identifying one’s emotions
  • Connecting thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  • Mindfulness
  • Optimism
  • Emotional regulation
  • Stress management
  • Autonomy over one’s action

The 29 activities below are all designed to build emotional literacy throughout the K-12 experience. Most of the activities involve embedded social-emotional learning components into typical academic activities, tying the SEL strategies directly to common core learning. As students develop emotional literacy, they are better able to control their emotional reactions instead of being victim to them. They are also better able to develop empathy and compassion for others.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

 

  1. Develop an emotional vocabulary. Have students work with the “feelings” words to deepen meaning. http://www.scribd.com/doc/91719618/Social-Emotional-Dictionary-with-Exercises
  1. Use the stories in ELA and social studies to help children learn to recognize emotions. Have students determine what characters are feeling based on the author’s descriptions.
  1. Connect emotions to personal experiences with this activity - http://heartmindonline.org/resources/lesson-plan-extend-emotional-literacy
  1. Practice recognizing and understanding emotions with this “Blank face” activity - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/233624299393597308/
  1. Build self-management by teaching children the “Stop.Breath.Listen. Respond” method. (Page 22 of StartEmpathy.org Toolkit) - http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. Have students keep an emotion journal throughout the week/month, a place where they can jot down when they are reacting emotionally to something. Talk about the entries in class, tying it back to feelings-thoughts-behaviors.
  1. Using visuals to discuss emotions can help younger children. Here are several great activities that can illustrate how emotions impact our actions. http://www.tnvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/A-Collection-of-Social-Emotional-Lesson-Plans-Website-Version-3-23-20152.pdf
  1. Increasing our connections to others helps develop emotional literacy. This Circle of Friends activity can help. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/activity-plan-5-6-circle-friends
  1. The Terrific Kids model is a great way to teach emotional literacy. Here is one activity to promote the traits identified in this model - http://kiwaniskids.org/Libraries/Mindful_awareness_reflection_activities/Mindful_awareness_exercise.sflb.ashx
  1. Use the morning meetings discussed in January to discuss feelings and check in with students daily.
  1. Practice managing emotions using a feelings chart. https://www.teachervision.com/depression/printable/33802.html
  1. Bring kindness into the classroom by creating a caring wall - https://rossieronline.usc.edu/bullying-prevention-lesson-plans/
  1. Teach teens about stress and developing coping skills. Use this website to help - http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/emotions/stress_center.html - cat20124
  1. Exploring Kindness builds emotional literacy. Here is a lesson that can help - http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/activity-plan-4-5-kindness-counts
  1. Using literature to teach mindfulness and increase awareness – here’s a great resource to explain how - http://www.mindfulteachers.org/2015/12/mindful-or-mindless-characters.html
  1. Self-management increases as students learn how to cope with stress and other “big” feelings. Here is a great lesson to help developing coping strategies - http://www.educationworld.com/a_tsl/archives/02-1/lesson045.shtml
  1. Help students understand feelings and connect them to thoughts and behaviors. http://www.scribd.com/doc/91718686/Facts-About-Feelings
  1. Using art to teach students how to “see” emotions - http://www.albrightknox.org/research/educator-resources/lesson-plans/lesson:seeing-feelings/ - Objectives
  1. Just as books help students develop emotional literacy, so can movies. Here is just one list of movies with themes that address self-esteem and emotional literacy file://localhost/- http/::www.teachwithmovies.org:char-devel-index-6.htm - 35C
  1. Build emotional literacy in teens with this free resource (includes 15 activities) - http://ong.ohio.gov/frg/FRGresources/emotional_intellegence_13-18.pdf
  1. Help students develop mindfulness of speech to increase both emotional awareness and management - http://www.mindfulteachers.org/2014/11/emotion-improv-mindfulness-exercise.html
  1. Use bibliotherapy (books and reading) to teach about bullying and emotional literacy. https://www.teachervision.com/bullies/printable/71426.html
  1. Teach mindfulness. Here is one lesson that can help - http://kiwaniskids.org/Libraries/Mindful_awareness_reflection_activities/Mindful_awareness_exercise.sflb.ashx
  1. Teach young children about stress and self-awareness. This children’s website can help - http://kidshealth.org/kid/feeling/emotion/stress.html - cat20070
  1. Connect emotional literacy to the curriculum by writing biographies. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/activity-plan-4-5-beautiful-biographies
  1. Connect feelings and behaviors to history through biographies and thoughtful questions. This lesson plan can help (scroll down to the “Important figures in human rights” section. https://rossieronline.usc.edu/bullying-prevention-lesson-plans/
  1. Teach students to “read faces” with the “Pass the Face” game. (page 28 of the StartEmpathy.org toolkit) - http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. Use books in the early grades to help students develop emotional literacy. Not sure which books to use? This list will help - https://www.fbmarketplace.org/mitm
  1. Recognizing your internal state is an important part of developing emotional literacy. Try these lessons to help - http://www2.massgeneral.org/schoolpsychiatry/classroom_selfregulation.asp

 

#EverydayEmpathy – January: BUILDING COMMUNITY

January starts with building communities – both in our classrooms and in our schools. Empathy can not be developed or flourish without a foundation that is safe and secure for students and staff. Actively building communities is the first place to start when creating a safe school climate.

The 31 activities below are all designed to create community within the classroom and school environment. Some are designed for elementary school settings, and some are for middle and high school environments. Many of these can also be extended into the home setting to increase the feeling of connectedness there as well.

As you attempt some or all of these activities, please share your stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages. Be sure to use the #EverydayEmpathy hashtag so we can follow along.

 

  1. Establish and teach classroom expectations that are in alignment with the schools expectations. Involve students in this process to improve class “buy-in” and develop strong learning communities.
  1. “Take what you need” activity from Edutopia article - http://www.edutopia.org/blog/back-to-school-strategy-building-community-anne-shaw
  1. Laughter and connection in the morning builds community. Check out how - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiuAFOv8wvw
  1. “Adopt a school yard” activity – similar to the adopt a highway program, this activity allows a class or grade-level to “adopt” a portion of the school and be responsible for it’s care throughout the upcoming school year.
  1. Write a bio-poem. Here’s a great HS lesson that incorporates Bio-poems - http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/hey-teachers-get-know-me
  1. Team-building activities sprinkled throughout the year. Some great options are the Spontaneous Activities from Odyssey of the Mind. These activities not only build teamwork and community, they can stretch your students’ creative muscles. Here’s a link for some great spontaneous activities - https://www.odysseyofthemind.com/practice/
  1. “Roll a Topic” free circle-time activity from Teachers Pay Teachers – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Roll-A-Topic-Ice-Breaker-Freebie-2024979
  1. “Playing for Empathy” musical chairs game is designed to combat issues of exclusion in an elementary classroom. Click here for the specifics of the game, as well as many additional ideas for games and books that address class community. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/help-they-wont-let-me-play-them
  1. “Do you want to be my friend?” Book activity - http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/do-you-want-be-my-friend-lesson-plan
  1. Do a culture walk. These diversity based activities can help establish safe havens for all students. Check out these specific culture walk lessons for middle school that can be easily adopted for a variety of grades - http://www.partnersagainsthate.org/educators/middle_school_lesson_plans.pdf
  1. Establish a peer leadership on your campus. Research has shown that such groups can help empower students to be a part of positive change and enhance school climate. Peer leaders can also help with establishing strong school communities. Not sure how to start a peer leadership group? Check out this great resource – http://www.partnersagainsthate.org/publications/Peer_Leadership_Guide.pdf
  1. “Back to School Friend Wanted Ads” – this BTS activity provides a great lesson in friendship and how to build and cultivate relationships. http://www.iteachthird.com/2015/07/back-to-school-friend-wanted-ads.html?m=1
  1. Focus on the Six Pillars of Character as a way to begin building school community. Be sure to frequently acknowledge those students demonstrating these character traits - http://charactercounts.org/program-overview/six-pillars/
  1. Teach students about “Giraffe Heroes”. “What are Giraffe Heroes?” you ask. These are people who regularly stick their necks out for others. Teaching children about these everyday heroes can help build community and character within your class environment. Here is a free lesson to start this up in your class. http://web.archive.org/web/20041210150100/http://www.giraffe.org/k12_3.html
  1. Begin to build trust through activities like the “name game”. Trust is necessary in any class or school community. http://www.teachability.com/thread/2222 - .VnmWmJMrKgQ
  1. Establish a routine of morning meetings. Not sure how, here is a resource to get you started. https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/sites/default/files/pdf_files/SMMbooklet.pdf
  1. Use student-led parent conferences as a way to bridge the home-school gap and increase the sense of community. http://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/edutopia-home-to-school-guide.pdf
  1. Call home and send a postcard to celebrate something your student is doing well.
  1. Use small groups within the classroom to get “every voice” in the class. This creates connectedness and a culture of caring. For more ideas, check out this article - http://teaching.colostate.edu/tips/tip.cfm?tipid=136
  1. Consider the classroom physical environment too. Is there “curbside appeal”? Do students have a role in the upkeep of the classroom? This article can provide more tips for creating caring classrooms - http://www.avid.org/dl/eve_natcon/nc11_classroomculturecounts_handout.pdf
  1. Develop an emotional charter with your students for the classroom – a guideline for how kids want to feel at school. Need more information on these? Check out the RULER program - http://ei.yale.edu/ruler/the-anchors-of-emotional-intelligence/
  1. A secret handshake? How cool would that be? Creating secret handshakes taps students’ creativity and builds community. For more information visit https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/blog/greeting-idea-secret-handshake
  1. Sometimes morning meetings are not enough. Providing a time to check in with students later in the day provides another opportunity to build community. Check it out more about afternoon check-ins here http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. Help students feel valued and connected to one another. I Love My Neighbor is a game that can help foster community in the classroom. Go here for more information http://www.playworks.org/blog/game-week-i-love-my-neighbor
  1. If You Really Knew Me gives students an opportunity to share who they are with a partner. Read more about it here http://www.playworks.org/playbook/games/if-you-really-knew-me
  1. Use the power of storytelling to help students find commonalities. Check out This Student’s Life http://startempathy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/StartEmpathy_Toolkit.pdf
  1. Learning about different families is another way to help students identify similarities and encourage acceptance and empathy. Visit http://www.tolerance.org/lesson/my-family-rocks to learn more about My Family Rocks!
  1. Moving beyond the classroom, encourage your classroom to build relationships with other classrooms. Buddy classes are a great way to do so. For more information, see #7 https://www.originsonline.org/newsletters/winter-2008-dd/teaching-empathy-young-adolescents
  1. What is it like to walk in the shoes of someone else? The following lessons will help you guide students in an exploration of that question. See Sharing Shoes, Sharing Stories at http://www.freethechildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/MiniWeDay-MiddleSchoolUS.pdf
  1. Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? This video offers a simple and brief definition of empathy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_1Rt1R4xbM#t=57
  1. What behaviors, attitudes, and actions contribute to a climate of caring in the classroom? The Peaceable Person Profile allows students a voice in creating the classroom climate they desire. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/help-they-wont-let-me-play-them