Compassion is an essential social emotional skill for kids to learn and develop early. Knowing how your actions and words can directly impact someone else is something that is so important for children to grasp at a young age. Compassion is a life-long ability for treating others with the kindness and empathy that you would like to be treated. This post has an array of books and videos that will help to teach your kiddos all about how to be compassionate to others.
Books That Teach Compassion
Books can be an amazing tool for teaching social emotional skills. The books below do a great job of showing kids how important it is to have compassion for others. If you are interested in follow up question and answer sheets for each of these books you can find them in The Encouraging Classroom.
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1. We’re All Wonders by: R.J. Palacio
We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about compassion, empathy and kindness with young children.
2. Each Kindness by: Jacqueline Woodson
This books powerful anti-bullying message and striking art, it will resonate with readers long after they’ve put it down.
3. My Brother Charlie by: Holly Robinson Peete
Twins Callie and Charlie have a lot in common, but they are also very different: Charlie has autism. Callie narrates the story, describing what autism is and exploring the issues that come along with it. The theme is of love, patience, and acceptance.
4. Hooway for Wodney Wat by: Helen Lester
Read along with Wodney as he surprises himself and his classmates by single-handedly saving the whole class from the big bad bully. Children will delight as shy Rodney Rat triumphs over all and his tiny voice decides the day, R’s or no R’s.
Videos That Teach Compassion
Each of the following videos has been chosen because each one shows ways in which your little learners can learn to apply compassion to their daily lives. You can find follow-up questions to each video within The Encouraging Classroom to have deeper discussions on why it is important to be compassionate with your students.
1. Have Compassion – Empower Tools
It’s super easy to be nice to the people you like, but it can be difficult to be nice to people who bother or annoy you. Practice tolerance and compassion for others with this positive, calming video.
2. Compassion Bumper: G-Force Kids
This video shows examples of what it does and does not mean to have compassion. It will help them to better understand how to be compassionate towards others.
3. Character Education: Compassion
This video is focused on the virtue of compassion. This means being aware of others’ needs and acting to help them.
4. Compassion: Wisie Inspirational Video for Child Development
This inspirational video helps your child understand that being kind, caring and compassionate makes you become a good person. The motivational message encourages your child to place himself/herself in the place of other persons or even animals and look at the world from their viewpoint. This helps you realize what others expect of you in terms of kindness and compassion.
Compassion Activities for the Classroom
We believe that the following activities can help to solidify your little learners understanding of the concept of compassion. All of these resources can be found inside of The Encouraging Classroom full-year curriculum. There are 12 different character traits in total as well as, daily lessons, videos, songs, read alouds with questions, home connections, art projects and more! You can also find video trainings about Breathing Techniques, Calm Down Corners, Self Regulation, Morning Meetings, Developing Student Relationships, and more included in the curriculum!
1. Compassion Anchor Chart
Use this anchor chart as a whole group activity, independent activity, or both! There are many options for this chart. You could display it on the SMART Board and fill it out with your class or even have your students fill out their version along with you! I have also seen teachers enlarge this anchor chart as a large poster and given their students post it notes to place on the anchor chart to make it more interactive.
2. Compassion Sort
Students cut behavior actions off the bottom of the page. Then they read and sort the actions into two categories.
3. Home Connections
Home connections help bridge the learning that is happening at school and brings it into the home. Home connections are a quick task that all families can do at home with their child(ren) to help reinforce the character focus skill. There is one per week for the entire month.
4. Compassion Coloring Page
We have created a Compassion coloring page for your students to use during their spare time, during a read aloud, or even as a reward. There are three versions with different fonts. We hope you like it!