Book Club: Compassion

Read and discuss books about practicing kindness and compassion for others.
Ages 5-10 / 30
min Activity
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Objectives

  • Read books about practicing kindness and compassion for others (especially in a way they will appreciate)
  • Share their insights and personal experiences during a follow-up discussion

Supporting Research

Research shows that reading narratives (nonfiction and fiction) supports students in developing empathy, perspective taking, and social competence by providing them with the opportunity to simulate characters’ worlds, emotions, and behaviors. Educators should encourage students to practice perspective taking and emotion recognition to understand and connect with the experiences described in the texts, and consider actions they can take to foster more kindness and inclusivity in their communities.

To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.

Materials

Activity Partners

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Ages 5-7 years old: Be Kind

Reflect on what kindness means to you after reading the book "Be Kind" by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Jen Hill.

Discussion questions:

  • What is your definition of kindness? What does it feel like, sound like, and look like?
  • What was your favorite act of kindness in the book? Have you ever done something similar?
  • What are some ways that you can be kind to others in a way they will appreciate? These actions can be big or small!

Ages 8-10 years old: Those Shoes

Reflect on what kindness means to you after reading the book "Those Shoes" by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones.

Discussion questions:

  • What is your definition of kindness? What does it feel like, sound like, and look like? 
  • How did characters in the book show kindness towards others? 
  • Have you ever given something of yours to another person? How did it make you feel? How did they react? 
  • What are some ways that you can be kind to others in a way they will appreciate? These actions can be big or small!

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.