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Understanding Empathy - Tolerance.org

Grades
2 to 6
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This lesson provides activities for upper elementary students to help them understand the meaning of empathy and includes activities that help them identify ways to become more empathetic....more
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This lesson provides activities for upper elementary students to help them understand the meaning of empathy and includes activities that help them identify ways to become more empathetic. The lessons include real-life situations that ask students to put themselves into others' positions and then rewrite scenarios that demonstrate how others show empathy. Registration on Tolerance.org isn't necessary to print and use materials found in this lesson; however, it allows you to bookmark favorite lessons for use later.

tag(s): bullying (56), character education (68), empathy (21)

In the Classroom

Include this lesson and others found at Tolerance.org as part of your teaching the character trait of empathy. Engage students as you gather responses to questions using Google Jamboard, reviewed here. Post a question onto your Jamboard, then share the link with students and ask them to add sticky notes onto the board with their response. Have students return to the Jamboard throughout your activities to modify or add additional responses. Use the extension activities to encourage students to produce and create scenarios that teach younger students about empathy. Have students use the tools found at Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, to create short video presentations, flyers, and engaging web pages to share.
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Developing Empathy - Tolerance.org

Grades
5 to 9
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Developing Empathy is a middle school lesson plan that teaches students how to build and put empathy into practice. The essential questions focus on students reflecting upon their ability...more
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Developing Empathy is a middle school lesson plan that teaches students how to build and put empathy into practice. The essential questions focus on students reflecting upon their ability to empathize with others and practice using this character trait with fellow students. This lesson includes printable worksheets for students, including a self-evaluation and practice activity cards.

tag(s): bullying (56), character education (68), empathy (21)

In the Classroom

Include this lesson with others as you teach the character trait of empathy and incorporate these ideas into lessons about bullying and bias. As you begin your lesson with the essential questions, use a digital question response site such as Answer Garden, reviewed here, to share student responses. This site offers the opportunity to look at the entire class's responses while still allowing students to provide anonymous thoughts. Take advantage of the suggested extension activities to allow students to use their creativity to share their understanding of empathy in various ways. Some tool suggestions for the extension activities are to create comics using ToonyTool, reviewed here, share videos created with Powtoon, reviewed here, or publish podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here.
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Start Empathy Toolkit - Ashoka

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K to 12
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The Start Empathy Toolkit provides a roadmap and materials for teaching empathy to students in all grades. The 85-page downloadable PDF guide focuses on three steps to learning - Prepare,...more
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The Start Empathy Toolkit provides a roadmap and materials for teaching empathy to students in all grades. The 85-page downloadable PDF guide focuses on three steps to learning - Prepare, Engage, and Reflect & Act. Lessons included in the toolkit have suggested time, directions, appropriate grade levels, and materials needed.

tag(s): emotions (44), racism (56), social and emotional learning (37)

In the Classroom

Include lessons and materials found on this site within your classroom to develop empathy and community. Engage students in your activities by creating word clouds of words that promote empathy and understanding using a word cloud creation tool such as WordClouds, reviewed here. Develop those words even further by using Answer Garden, reviewed here, as an anonymous answer response tool. For example, one activity focuses on Appreciating Those Behind the Scenes. Create an Answer Garden poll for students to share specific ideas on those that help behind the scenes and ways to express appreciation for their work. Extend student learning by asking them to create and share ways for others to demonstrate empathy. Provide options for students to create videos using Adobe Spark Video Creator, reviewed here, design digital books using Book Creator, reviewed here, or write a poem using the Poem Generator, reviewed here.
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SpeakUp! - Martie Gillin

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5 to 12
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SpeakUp! is a non-profit organization that provides resources to support teens in developing positive relationships with adults. Their programs' focus is on encouraging teens to have...more
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SpeakUp! is a non-profit organization that provides resources to support teens in developing positive relationships with adults. Their programs' focus is on encouraging teens to have supportive conversations that help teens deal with any issues. Register for upcoming programs or learn how to become a SpeakUp! school. Be sure to check out the link to the site's resources that includes helpful guides with contact information for help with many different topics, including suicide, drug abuse, bullying, and more.

tag(s): bullying (56), cyberbullying (48), diseases (78), drugs and alcohol (28), eating disorders (8), sexuality (16), social and emotional learning (37), social media (43)

In the Classroom

Share the resource guides with parents and students on your class website to use when facing any of the covered topics. Use Padlet, reviewed here or Wakelet, reviewed here, to curate and share helpful guides for parents and students within one collection. As you and your class discuss problems that face teens, ask students to use Canva Edu, reviewed here, to share what they learn. For example, have students create posters to display in the classroom that include the dangers of drug abuse and include tips for helping someone that displays signs of drug abuse. Ask other students to design and share infographics that include facts and figures discussing cyberbullying, along with suggestions on how to respond to bullies.
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Facing History and Ourselves - Facing History and Ourselves

Grades
6 to 12
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Using history to connect students to choices made in the past, Facing History provides lessons and curated collections that address racism, bigotry, and prejudice. Visit the Educator...more
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Using history to connect students to choices made in the past, Facing History provides lessons and curated collections that address racism, bigotry, and prejudice. Visit the Educator Resources to browse through videos, lessons, and complete teaching units. Within the same area, explore the many examples and instructions for teaching strategies, including ideas such as character charts and cafe conversations. Learn more at the Professional Development area of Facing History through classroom videos and free one-hour webinars. Educators who complete a workshop, seminar, or course are eligible to use the site's free lending library.

tag(s): bullying (56), civil rights (147), democracy (17), holocaust (45), immigrants (29), immigration (71), journalism (70), martin luther king (34), racism (56), religions (68)

In the Classroom

Discover the many free resources found on this site to include with your teaching units. If you find that some of the reading material is useful, but is above the reading level of your students, use a summarizing tool such as SummarizeThis reviewed here, to break down large portions of text into manageable content. Include activities from this site as part of a larger unit using a learning management system such as Crio, reviewed here. Use Crio to build an interactive learning experience that includes videos, reading activities, quizzes, and images. Extend student learning by asking them to become the creators through sharing their knowledge with others. Provide options for students to create audio podcasts with Synth, reviewed here, make explainer videos using Adobe Spark Video Creator, reviewed here, or use Google My Maps, reviewed here, to take viewers on a virtual journey through map locations.
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Activities for Teaching the 3 Kinds of Empathy - Samantha Du Preez

Grades
K to 12
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Understand the three different forms of empathy and teach students how to respond appropriately using the information shared in this article. As the author describes the different forms...more
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Understand the three different forms of empathy and teach students how to respond appropriately using the information shared in this article. As the author describes the different forms of empathy (cognitive, emotional, and compassionate), she also suggests activities broken into different grade levels using resources found on Everfi, reviewed here.

tag(s): character education (68), emotions (44), social and emotional learning (37)

In the Classroom

Use this article to show students how to develop empathy for others and provide appropriate emotional support to those in need. Engage students in learning about the different forms of empathy by creating mind maps using a creation tool such as Whimsical Mind Maps, reviewed here, to provide a visual representation of how to support others in distress. If you teach younger students, help them understand emotions by creating word clouds at WordClouds, reviewed here, using words provided by students that describe feelings. Extend learning further by creating a Padlet, reviewed here, divided into three columns representing each form of empathy. Ask students to share ideas on recognizing the different forms and methods for showing compassion towards others.

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How to Talk to Kids About Difficult Subjects - Caroline Knorr

Grades
K to 12
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This article uses age and developmental stages as guidelines for sharing ideas on approaching difficult topics with children. Without using specific issues, the author gives general...more
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This article uses age and developmental stages as guidelines for sharing ideas on approaching difficult topics with children. Without using specific issues, the author gives general guidelines for acknowledging children's feelings and methods for reassuring them that everything will be O.K. In addition to the general guidelines, this article also includes specific tips for addressing sexual harassment and social media for tweens and teens.

tag(s): emotions (44), parents (59), preK (287), social and emotional learning (37)

In the Classroom

Share this article with parents to use as a guide when talking to their child about any difficult topic. Consider creating a collection of articles using Wakelet, reviewed here, and share with parents to use at home. Be sure to keep the suggestions in mind for use in the classroom when addressing difficult subjects or as you address controversies that arise throughout the school year.

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Talking to White Kids About Race & Racism - Safe Space Radio

Grades
K to 12
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This hour-long radio program explores how to discuss race and racism with kids of any age through the lens of white parents and students. The radio program provides specific examples...more
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This hour-long radio program explores how to discuss race and racism with kids of any age through the lens of white parents and students. The radio program provides specific examples of how to expose children to people of all races, address children's' questions about race, and tips on how to be aware of situations that provide opportunities to discuss race and racism. In addition to the radio program, the site also includes two PDF documents. The first contains strategies for talking to white kids about racism; the other is a discussion guide with general questions and questions to use with each session segment.

tag(s): character education (68), racism (56)

In the Classroom

Use this radio broadcast as a resource for addressing racism both in the classroom and at home. The program includes short segments with different guests, use the segments to divide information into smaller topics and big ideas. Share a segment with parents along with guiding questions found in the discussion guide and encourage them to use this information to address race in their home as you also address these ideas at school. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to curate and share additional resources for families. As students reflect upon the questions and discussions, have them use Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to create infographics with their ideas for addressing issues of race and racism. Use Google Drawings, reviewed here, as an alternative for younger students to create and share their thoughts through original drawings.
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Ringbeller - Ringbeller Inc

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K to 5
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Ringbeller describes itself as "TED meets Mr. Rogers for the modern classroom." The three-step program includes classes watching a five-minute video followed by a series of pop-up questions...more
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Ringbeller describes itself as "TED meets Mr. Rogers for the modern classroom." The three-step program includes classes watching a five-minute video followed by a series of pop-up questions then uses a collaborative activity as a culminating project. Topics focus on classroom behavior and promoting positive student attitudes toward themselves, others, and school. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): behavior (45), social and emotional learning (37), social skills (29)

In the Classroom

Include Ringbeller as part of a classroom center rotation during one semester of the school year; there are ten videos and activities that work well as a weekly social learning lesson. Share Ringbeller with your school's counselor to use with small groups. Ask students to reflect upon each activity by writing a blog using Edublogs, reviewed here. Have them include personal goals based upon the content of each lesson. As a follow-up to Ringbeller activities, encourage students to be proactive and share behavior tips and ideas to promote positive attitudes using the audio podcasting tool Synth, reviewed here. Synth is an easy to use tool for creating short audio podcasts by connecting recordings of 256 seconds or less together in an audio stream. Consider creating a podcast for all school members to share and collaborate with positive ideas.
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Today's News, Tomorrow's Lesson - Share My Lesson

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6 to 12
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Today's News, Tomorrow's Lesson brings the latest news and current events into your classroom with timely information, videos, and discussion questions from PBS NewsHour Extra. Select...more
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Today's News, Tomorrow's Lesson brings the latest news and current events into your classroom with timely information, videos, and discussion questions from PBS NewsHour Extra. Select any post to open the resource and read more about the prompt or question. Articles share a summary of the issue along with the video clip from the PBS NewsHour discussion. In addition to discussion questions, this site also includes extension activities to enhance learning. This site doesn't require registration; however, creating an account allows you to save favorites to collections for later use. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): journalism (70), news (260), politics (106)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use with any current events lessons and as a resource for finding fact-based information to use to help understand modern history. Most of the discussion questions ask students to defend a point of view based on the shared topic. Use technology tools to help students organize their thinking and share their questions and responses. Engage students in the learning process using Fiskkit, reviewed here, as a collaborative discussion tool for sharing online articles related to the topic discussed. Fiskkit offers tools for annotating and collaboratively discussing online information. Share student opinions and discussions using FlipGrid, reviewed here. Ask students to respond to the discussion question within Flipgrid using their fact-based research. Use the comment feature to encourage collaboration and student discussion. As a final project, extend learning by asking students (or student groups) to share their responses as part of a multimedia presentation that includes student writing, videos, maps, and infographics. Have students use a presentation tool such as Sway, reviewed here, or Adobe Spark in K-12, reviewed here, to share their final projects.

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CASEL Program Guides - Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning

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K to 12
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The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) provides support and tools that include high-quality information for social and emotional learning. The guides...more
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The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) provides support and tools that include high-quality information for social and emotional learning. The guides shared on this page provide a framework for evaluating social and emotional programs. Choose from two versions of the guides; one is for preschool and elementary programs, the other features the middle and high school edition. For both editions, open the PDF link to view or print the guide. Each guide includes an in-depth discussion of the methods used to rate programs, along with charts with ratings and information on the effectiveness of the programs.

tag(s): professional development (265), social and emotional learning (37)

In the Classroom

The guides shared on this website provide a structured framework for evaluating any social/emotional learning program. Use the information to analyze any programs or tools being considered for use in your classroom. Share this guide with administrators in your district to use when considering implementing new learning programs. Create your own evaluation framework based on this information using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to serve as a useful look at the pros and cons of the resource being considered.
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Safe@School - Lesson Plans and Toolkits - USC Rossier

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K to 12
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USC Rossier's online master's in school counseling program provides this extensive collection of resources for helping you to facilitate discussions about race, racism, and diversity...more
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USC Rossier's online master's in school counseling program provides this extensive collection of resources for helping you to facilitate discussions about race, racism, and diversity with students of all ages. Some of the resources are lesson plans, glossaries, toolkits, and others are activities. You don't have to pursue a master's in counseling to use these resources.

tag(s): african american (106), hispanic (15), racism (56)

In the Classroom

Use these resources throughout the school year, and especially during difficult conversations, including those about racism, come up in class. Review these resources to prepare yourself for spontaneous discussions about race and differences. You may want to start the school year with "Claim It! Creating a Climate of Inclusion Lesson Plan," or skim through the list of resources to find one that will fit your lesson and students.

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Anti-Racism For Kids 101: Starting To Talk About Race - Books for Littles

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K to 5
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Discover several recommended books for beginning conversations with children about race and racism. Share these books that show how people of color are not single-faceted: they are...more
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Discover several recommended books for beginning conversations with children about race and racism. Share these books that show how people of color are not single-faceted: they are individuals whose ethnic heritage is something valuable to explore, and their ancestors' traditions, achievements, and challenges impact who they are today. Some books will help explain to children how cultural diversity makes us stronger. Other book collections on this site include Inclusive Body-Positive Kids, Waaay Before We Talk About Sex: Kids Books for Squeamish Parents, Diverse Family Constellations in Kids Books, and Immigrants Belong Here: Books to Help Kids Advocate for Human Rights. There are other "difficult" conversation collections on this site, too.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): african american (106), hispanic (15), racism (56)

In the Classroom

Though this site is affiliated with places to buy books i.e., Amazon, you can also find these books at your public library. An alternative would be to consider a "Wish List," either online with Amazon or publish it in your newsletter that goes home to parents and that you can mention at back-to-school night.

After reading the book to the class or a small group, ask students to think about what the author was trying to tell the students about the topic (diversity, etc.). Ask for volunteers to answer. Remind students to be respectful of others' opinions during an open discussion. Use the books suggested on this site to start a discussion as to why the topic is important. After this discussion you may want to use Flipgrid, reviewed here, to have students consolidate their learning by stating what they learned from the book and possibly replying to another classmate's response to the book.

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Teaching About Race and Racism: Lesson Plans Resources - ShareMyLesson

Grades
K to 12
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Curated by ShareMyLesson, find a substantial collection of PreK-12 lesson plans, activities, and resources to help students critically address the issues of race and racism. Racism...more
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Curated by ShareMyLesson, find a substantial collection of PreK-12 lesson plans, activities, and resources to help students critically address the issues of race and racism. Racism Lesson Plans are in categories: Black Lives Matter and George Floyd (which has an anti-racist reading list for children and adults), Professional Development, and General Racism Lesson Plans and Resources. The latter includes lessons about talking with children about race, stereotyping, white supremacy, segregation, lynchings, anti-Semitism, and too many more to name here. Other categories include Lesson Plans: Stereotyping, Racial Profiling, and Related Collections. ShareMyLesson has put together such a rich collection that you won't need to look anywhere else.

tag(s): african american (106), black history (80), hispanic (15), jews (27), racism (56), segregation (17)

In the Classroom

Before sharing this site with students, find a lesson to use as an introduction. Then, show the lesson and its resources on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector, explaining to students all the parts of the lesson as you proceed through it. After this first lesson, enhance student learning by allowing them to choose what lesson or resource they would like to investigate next. Ask students to use Padlet, reviewed here, to register their preference for investigation. If more than one student is interested in the same lesson/resource, allow them to work together. Challenge students to share their extended learning with their peers in a multimedia presentation using Genial.ly, reviewed here, or Sway, reviewed here. Both Sway and Genial.ly will allow your students to create multimedia projects. With Genial.ly you could allow students to choose the type of interactive media they want to develop.

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Students Rebuild - Bezos Family Foundation

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K to 12
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Students Rebuild uses philanthropy to bring students and teachers together using art to build global awareness of issues around the world. Each year Students Rebuild shares a challenge...more
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Students Rebuild uses philanthropy to bring students and teachers together using art to build global awareness of issues around the world. Each year Students Rebuild shares a challenge based upon a critical problem around the world. Sign up to participate to receive details of annual challenges and projects. Past challenges include sharing recipes to fight hunger, creating non-perishable flower garlands in support of children affected by earthquakes in Nepal, and making beads to bring safe drinking water to communities in need. Matching funds for donations are bestowed by the Bezos Foundation and given to supporting partners. Learn more and view free teaching resources for use in K-12 classrooms by visiting the Resources section of Students Rebuild.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (150), disasters (41)

In the Classroom

Participate in annual challenges to engage students and inspire them to learn more about global issues. Use the provided resources as a starting point for your art projects. Encourage students to learn more about the challenge issue by creating infographics using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. Create infographics together with younger students or ask older students to create their own to share with peers. Enhance learning by using FlipGrid, reviewed here, to locate grid pals from the challenge country. Use Flipgrid to ask questions of students in both countries that encourage the sharing of ideas and understanding of each culture. Extend learning by asking students to use Sway, reviewed here, to share their knowledge and suggestions for solving global issues through writing, video, and other multimedia projects.
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Developing Empathy - Equality and Human Rights Comission

Grades
8 to 12
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This high school level lesson teaches the development of empathy through role-play activities. The activities include slides and student worksheets to download as PDF documents. In...more
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This high school level lesson teaches the development of empathy through role-play activities. The activities include slides and student worksheets to download as PDF documents. In addition to the lesson, extension activities include suggestions for examining your school's anti-bullying policy and ideas to differentiate instruction based upon students' literacy skills.

tag(s): character education (68), emotions (44), social and emotional learning (37)

In the Classroom

Include this lesson with others as part of character education and empathy activities. The starter activity includes students sharing a time they experienced different feelings. Use AnswerGarden, reviewed here, to post each question and ask students to share their response. This allows students to answer anonymously while still creating a visual word cloud with responses. Copy the embed code to include each of the word clouds on your class website or share using your AnswerGarden poll's link. Include all of the polls within one collaborative Wakelet collection, reviewed here, that includes students' responses to the other lesson activities including written reflections, analysis of your school's bullying policy, and discussions of how to recognize and encourage empathy in others.
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Be Fearless Be Kind - Hasbro Children's Fund

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K to 5
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Be Fearless Be Kind is an empathy toolkit (PDF with lots of links) developed to help kids become "change-makers" through fostering not only empathy, but leadership, creative problem...more
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Be Fearless Be Kind is an empathy toolkit (PDF with lots of links) developed to help kids become "change-makers" through fostering not only empathy, but leadership, creative problem solving, and teamwork. You'll first find a definition of empathy and why it is important. Then comes the nitty-gritty to use in the classroom: videos, projects, lesson plans, and activities. Some categories include Build the Foundation, Identify Feelings, Self-Regulation, Practice Perspective-Taking, Self-Awareness, Use Problem-Solving Procedures, and several more. All have many resources for you to use with your students.

tag(s): bullying (56), conflict resolution (9), emotions (44), empathy (21), problem solving (284), school violence (14), social and emotional learning (37), social skills (29)

In the Classroom

Be sure to investigate the abundance of resources and information shared in this free toolkit for use in classroom lessons on social and leadership skills, empathy, and problem-solving. Several portions in the booklet include scenarios and questions for discussions. Extend student learning by challenging student groups to create weekly podcasts addressing common social issues along with suggestions for dealing with them. Podcast Generator, reviewed here, offers free tools for podcasting. Use the resources and suggestions with character education activities throughout the year. Share ideas from this site with parents to use at home with their children. Create a class (or school) bulletin board with examples of students demonstrating empathy.

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Diversity Toolkit - National Education Association (NEA)

Grades
K to 12
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The Diversity Toolkit provides teaching strategies and resources based on multiple facets of diversity. Explore the topics found on the toolkit to learn more about Cultural Competence...more
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The Diversity Toolkit provides teaching strategies and resources based on multiple facets of diversity. Explore the topics found on the toolkit to learn more about Cultural Competence for Teachers, Class and Income, Social Justice, and more. Each subject includes a short introduction, a discussion of the main issues, and suggestions for teaching strategies. Use the links within each of the issues to find support resources.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): civil rights (147), difficult conversations (35), diversity (38), racism (56)

In the Classroom

Use this toolkit to identify different facets of diversity to include in your lessons about social justice and inequalities in society. Consider using Wakelet, reviewed here, as a resource to create and share your lessons with students. Create a Wakelet that includes links to your instructional resources, including videos, online information, and uploaded documents. Include in your Wakelet a link to a different collection that is created as a collaborative space for students to add text responses, videos and reflections. Have students upload a video into the collection directly from Flipgrid, reviewed here. For example, visit this collection entitled "Diving into the Civil Rights."

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Talking About Race and Privilege: Lesson Plan for Middle and High School Students - National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson plan guides students toward defining the concept of "privilege" and to identify examples of "privilege" in their lives. The lesson begins with using the Webster's Dictionary...more
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This lesson plan guides students toward defining the concept of "privilege" and to identify examples of "privilege" in their lives. The lesson begins with using the Webster's Dictionary definition of "privilege" and then leads to historical perspectives on "privilege" related to race in the United States. Another component of the lesson is the use of the Privilege Aptitude Test adapted from the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel with follow-up reflection questions. Use the link to print or download the lesson in PDF format.

tag(s): civil rights (147), psychology (66), racism (56)

In the Classroom

Include this lesson plan with your other resources when teaching lessons on racism and social injustice, either in-person or through remote or blended learning situations. Instead of using paper charts as mentioned in the lesson, use a digital chart creation resource such as Lucidchart, reviewed here, to create collaborative digital workspaces. Lucidchart includes several features that expand learning through the use of commenting, real-time collaboration, and colorful visual displays. Guide students in how to think through reflection questions using topics available in Thinkalong, reviewed here. Thinkalong offers an interactive multimedia format that guides students through investigations that lead them to contemplate possible solutions to serious problems.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Family Tree Creator - DNAweekly

Grades
4 to 12
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Quickly build your family tree, without registration, using the Family Tree Creator. Follow prompts to add family member names within the labeled boxes. This site is a no-frills way...more
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Quickly build your family tree, without registration, using the Family Tree Creator. Follow prompts to add family member names within the labeled boxes. This site is a no-frills way to see a detailed view of your family history. You can add names, dates of birth, and dates of death to each entry. Include an image, if available, with each item included on the family tree. Within each entry is an option to add parent's or sibling's information. When finished, download to your computer or share your link using the unique URL for your ancestry tree.

tag(s): family (60), immigration (71), migration (61)

In the Classroom

Use the Family Tree Creator as a research project for students to explore their family heritage. Use the creator as a guide to family characters within novels with complicated storylines or create a family tree to trace European kings' and queens' lineage. If students don't have images to upload, use an avatar creator such as the Free Anime Avatar Maker, reviewed here, or Bitmoji, reviewed here, to create a likeness to upload. Extend learning by asking students to interview living relatives using an audio file creator such as Vocaroo, reviewed here, to record conversations. Add additional information to a timeline created using Timeline Maker, reviewed here, that offers a simple format for creating personalized timelines. Include students' completed family trees, interviews, timelines, and additional research information in a multimedia presentation like Sway, reviewed here.

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