Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Perspective Taking and Empathy

What does perspective taking mean? If we put ourselves in someone else's shoes, do we really feel what that person feels? If we can feel what this person is feeling, will we have more empathy toward that person?   Research shows that teaching empathy can reduce bullying, exclusion and teasing.  You can read more about the positive effects of empathy HERE. The following books and activities all help students to understand the importance of perspective taking and empathy.  I have all three of the books listed and use them to teach kindergarten through fifth grade the importance of "standing in someone else's shoes".

Stand in My Shoes:  Description from Amazon-When Emily asks her big sister what the word empathy means, Emily has no idea the answer will change how she looks at people.  But does it really matter to others if Emily notices how they're feeling?  Stand in My Shoes shows kids how easy it is to develop empathy toward others around them.

Those Shoes:  All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing.  Though Jeremy's grandma says they don't have room for "want", just "need," when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small.  But sore feel aren't much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has-warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend-are worth more than the things he wants.  FREE Lesson to go along with Those Shoes HERE.
How Do I Stand in Your Shoes?  Description from Amazon:  Miranda Peabody had no patience for the other students in class and just didn't understand why they couldn't be as smart and talented as she was.  Her teacher, Mrs. Klemp, suggested that she try to understand people by "standing in their shoes."  After much searching, she learns the true meaning of "standing in someone else's shoes" and having empathy for others.

I also have this workbook and use it quit a bit:

Description from Amazon:  Helping children develop greater empathy-related awareness skills can help prevent negative social behaviors such as bullying, meanness, and alienation.  Empathy is a fundamental social emotion because it brings a sense of emotional connection to others.  It is this awareness that is not only basic to all healthy relationships; it is the root of pro-social behavior, altruism, kindness and peace.  Empathy has cognitive, effective and behavioral components that can be learned and improved upon by children.  The lessons and activities in this book are designed to:  teach students the value of empathy; assist students in recognizing their own and other's feelings; help students put themselves in "someone else's shoes", and instruct students how to exhibit understanding and acceptance.  Each topic-related lesson includes five inviting worksheets that can be reproduced and used repeatedly with elementary school-aged students.

Counseling Connections that can be used to teach Empathy and Perspective Taking:
***most of these are FREE!

Perspective Taking

Slam Dunk Perspective Taking

In Your Shoes Social Skills Game

Social Skills Lesson: Birthday Party

Different Perspectives and Showing Empahty

Video: If your shoes could speak, what would they say about you?

Guide to Empathy and Bullying

Empathy Activities

How Do I Stand in Your Shoes?

Sesame Street Video: Empathy

Empathy in a Shoe Box

In Someone Elses Shoes...Empathy Activity

Walk a Mile in These Shoes Cooperation Game

Choose the Right Gift: A Freebie for Perspective Taking Skills

How to Stand in Your Shoes (Go Fish! Game and Worksheets)

A Day in Mom's Shoes (Mother's Day)

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