Learning through Empathy: New Resources for Teachers
How do a family, a school and a community benefit from empathy?
Empathy allows us to see the world from divergent and even opposing perspectives, and to experience the feelings of another person or group. It’s an essential component in our ethnically and culturally diverse country—and in our larger global community as well.
We have put together 2 new learning resources for educators, designed to help students explore, discuss and ultimately develop empathy skills. The “Learning through Empathy” Playlist for elementary-level schools offers teachers a rich collection of films that may be incorporated into many areas of the curriculum, including social studies, language arts, and citizenship and health studies.
The films act as springboards for meaningful conversations and follow-up projects that enhance critical thinking and communication skills. Young viewers will learn about kindness from a bear named Ludovic and discover, as Trudy did in the animated short Big Mouth, that our differences make us unique. All the titles in this playlist are age appropriate for Grades 1 to 6.
The “Learning through Empathy” Playlist for secondary-level schools tackles numerous subjects from a variety of viewpoints. These films explore mental health in youth (Racing Thoughts), the struggles of Canada’s First Nations peoples (The Invisible Nation, The People of the Kattawapiskak River) and the challenges of living with a disability (How Does it Feel), as well as issues such as gender stereotypes, religious freedom, homophobia and human rights across the globe.
These learning resources will help students develop their abilities to respect diversity, accept themselves and others, resolve conflicts peacefully and address social inequities in Canada. Teachers are provided with discussion questions and a KWL chart to aid them in presenting the topic of empathy in the classroom.
We hope that you can use these playlists to examine the vital role that empathy can play in all our relationships—within our families, our schools and our society at large.
Learning through Empathy- Elementary
Learning Through Empathy – Secondary and Post-secondary
The “Learning through Empathy” resources were developed by Sophie Quevillon, Anne Koizumi, Liz Warwick and Tey Cottingham.