EMPATHY SPIDER WEB
As a class brainstorm the meaning of the word Empathy and the importance of it. Children will break out individually or in small groups and on a piece of paper will write the word Empathy in the centre of the page and create a spider web of words and phrases and present it to the class.
"Make a change to help each other, and use your strongest voice to speak up for the ones who can’t. We all can make that choice."
For this activity students will pick a person in a position of power and write them a letter. It can be a Member of Parliament, the CEO of a company, even the Prime Minister of Canada. Students will be instructed to write them a letter to help them with their mission of empathy and inclusion. It can be anything from writing the CEO of an airline and asking them to make an accessible spot on their airplanes. It can be asking a restaurant to add a ramp to make their place accessible to all. Students can even take this one step further and share their letter on social media and be sure to hashtag #SeeMeforMe to help spread awareness and empathy for all!
PICK A NAME, ANY NAME
The teacher will put the names of the students in the classroom in a hat. Each child will pick one name and keep that person a secret. On a piece of paper, the students will write three compliments about the person they picked out of the hat. They will NOT write their name on the assignment and will bring it to the teacher to check. Once the teacher collects everyone’s assignments, he/she will read out the compliments to everyone in the class.
This activity is intended to make each student feel included, accepted and appreciated by their peers. Also, by remaining anonymous it allows them to truly express themselves without feeling judged.
After reading the book and discussing it as a class, each child will be tasked with focussing on one of the "buzz words" and what it means to them. The words to focus on are: Diversity, Empathy, Inclusion, Equality, Equity and Diversability.
Each child will make a poster of their word and their description of what it means to them. This poster should be put on display outside of the classroom for the whole school to see.
ANALYZE THE ILLUSTRATIONS
See Me for Me has many beautiful illustrations that highlight inclusion, empathy and equity. Have each student select a picture in the book and write about what they like about it and what makes it meaningful.
EXTRA PAGE IN See Me for Me
Have each student make their own page in See Me for Me including an illustration and a short poem. They can choose to speak generally about one of the themes of the book or introduce someone that that they know and want to share. This is an open-ended activity that can go as far as you want to take the students in your class. Once everyone has handed in their assignment, the teacher can turn their work into a classroom book.
Why is the follow up so important?
The purpose of this book is to teach empathy and promote inclusion. It is one thing to read the book to students and it is another to follow up with a meaningful discussion and follow up activities. These activities are designed to continue the dialogue with students and play a role in displaying and developing empathy.
We would love to hear from you! Have you tried one of these activities with your students? Did you do another lesson plan that you would like to share with other teachers? Please share your follow up activities with us by emailing pictures to email@example.com and if you share on social media please tag @danageall and use the hashtag #SeeMeforMe