9.04.2014

The Empathy Way

Yesterday's mail delivery brought some new empathy books and a Teacher's Manual with all sorts of research, tips, and strategies for stretching empathy from my new friend and author, Dr. Anne Paris. 
Talk about your buried treasure!


This serious look at the glorious virtue of empathy, with photography by Marian Brickner, does not monkey around! This dynamic duo has integrated actual photographs of the Bonobo Apes, known for their "peaceful behavior," to discuss concrete behaviors and ultimately nurture and evoke empathy in their readers. 

In the You Scared Me! story, for example, one monkey doesn't know how to get another's attention appropriately, so his behaviors end up scaring/bullying two of the other friends. They then have to work through those scared feelings and figure out a way to keep that harassment from happening again. The story unfolds with courage and conversation, just as you'd hope it would in your own backyard or on your own playground. Dr. Paris' authentic look at empathy will undoubtedly help even our youngest learners understand how it looks, sounds, and feels.

The teacher's guide is brilliantly written and the lesson plan ideas require very little prep. My favorite part has to be the Empathy Buddy Badge that a child can earn to show that he or she has mastered the concept of empathy and is now 
proudly practicing it ... to get better.

Three books grace this series; for video clips, information and more, 
visit The Empathy Way online.

As an engaging follow-up option, try this new script that I wrote


Here's the scenario:
I am a little child whose mommy is sick. Everybody whispers so I don’t know exactly what’s wrong but I’m sensing that it’s really bad. I don’t get to see her very much and when I do she’s super tired and mostly asleep. Daddy seems really worried and I have to stay with babysitters most of the time. What does my mommy need? What does my daddy need? Is there something I could do to help them? What do I need? What will help us or make us feel better? How could you use your superpowers to help us?

Need more information, activities or ideas on elevating empathy? 
Visit my Elevating Empathy Pinterest Page.

And why not make plans now to attend the 21st annual National Forum on Character Education in Washington, D.C. next month? I'll be delivering the kickoff keynote ~ Kindness Is The Real Global Warming ~ on Halloween and I can't wait! Mary Gordon, Founder of Roots of Empathy, is a headliner in the line-up of passionate speakers charged with inspiring greatness. Click the flyer for information on how you can join us at this year's big event. 
I hope to see some of you there.









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