8.26.2012

Empathy Guest Post

photo of lyrics to empathy song by Barbara at the Corner on Character

Today I'm welcoming guest blogger AnnMarie Birster from the
School Counselor Companion blog. AnnMarie has been stopping by the Corner for over a year now and often leaves a kind affirmation, so I asked her to to share one of her favorite lessons with us.

Empathy - or Understanding HOW Someone Feels
by AnnMarie Birster

Empathy simply put means the ability to understand HOW someone REALLY feels!! As counselors, this is one of our main goals. As educators, this is something we strive to instill in our students, yet it can be a difficult concept for kids to understand.  

I am excited to share with you a lesson in Empathy that you could do with your students! When I was taking an Introduction to Play Therapy course a couple of years ago, this was one of our class assignments to explore feelings and get familiar with and understand the deeper feelings of others!!!

My professor had us watch about the first 15 minutes of the 1987 Walt Disney Movie Benji the Hunted. The movie is Rated G, so it is appropriate for all ages and can be shown in schools. Our assignment was to watch and initially see what emotions/feelings we could recognize!! About 4 minutes into the movie, we were told to shout out what Benji's thoughts and feelings were.



For students, some particular things to focus on or use for discussion are:
  • What are Benji's feelings with the mountain lion?  
  • What about when the helicopter flies by?
  • What is Benji feeling when he discovers the cubs?
  • What are the cubs feeling?
  • What is the 1st cub feeling?
  • Do they trust Benji?  How do you know?
  • What is Benji trying to communicate to the cubs
  • What happens next?
  • Does Benji experience empathy? 
  • Does this help him in decision making?
This movie is a wonderful way to help kids understand and connect with others' emotions and learn about deeper feelings. What are your creative ways to teach kids about empathy?

Author bio: AnnMarie is a very new blogger who's very excited about it! She's a certified elementary school counselor serving in two elementary schools in PA. This is her seventh year as a school counselor and she enjoys using Play Therapy techniques with her students. AnnMarie also enjoys cooking, tennis, and reading educator blogs. She's interested in technology and is somewhat of a Pinterest addict.
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Thank you, AnnMarie, for stopping by the Corner while I'm away.

It's my turn at our PreK and K Sharing collaborative so hip hop over there when you're done here for my post on
 meaningful movement. 

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