Character Lesson for Mondays - EMPATHY

Hello readers and thank you for stopping by my blog Be The Difference. I am a children’s book author and mother to three young children. I am dedicated to spreading the important messages in my books to children around the world. I strive to make a difference in my own home by spending time teaching my children character traits using age appropriate activities and quality children’s literature. I am sharing these lessons with you, week-by-week so that you can do the same. Let’s provide our children with tools they can use when they go out into the world and face difficult situations. Let’s give them a chance to grow up to be Problem Solvers! I would love to connect with you and continue this conversation—please see links at the bottom of this post— Maria Dismondy

What is Empathy?

Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person’s frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another’s shoes.


Book I am using with this lesson:

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox

How I used this book to teach the trait Empathy

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, a rather small boy, lives next door to a nursing home in which resides Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, his favorite friend, because she has four names as well. When Miss Nancy “loses” her memory, the intrepid Wilfrid sets out to find it for her. Full color.

Book: Read or listen to the book with your child.

Discuss: Ask your child what it means to feel empathy. Show them a pair of someone else’s shoes. If I were at home, I could use my husband’s shoes and ask my daughter what it would feel like to be papa. What if Papa fell down? What if Papa did something really great at work, how would he feel?

When practicing Empathy, we want children to do three things. 1. Try and understand how others are feeling. 2. Say something to acknowledge those feelings. 3. Do something to help others-Take Action!

Use the story to discuss Empathy with your child. How would it feel to forget things that were so important? How would it feel to be a senior friend like Miss Nancy and her friends?

Craft: My Hands are My Heart lesson

Activity: Memory Baskets or this Secret Message

Product I’ve created to go along with this lesson:

Empathy Lesson for grades PreK-Grade 2

Empathy Songs for grades PreK-Grade2 

Video to teach empathy-Sesame Street with Mark Ruffalo

Music to inspire and teach this trait: True Colors by Cyndi Lauper

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