- Collaborate to prepare artifacts that help others learn about your class and community
- Exchange materials with an Empatico partner class to learn about each other
Research shows that classroom activities that are culturally-responsive, which provide students with the opportunity to share about their identity and experiences, collaborate on projects meaningful to them, and affirm the value of diversity and cultural differences, help create a more inclusive classroom environment. Educators should help students practice kindness, collaboration, and inclusivity as they practice curiosity and respect to gain a better understanding of each other, negotiate how to include everyone’s ideas in the project, and work together to produce an artifact that represents their collective identity.
To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.
Empatico offers an exciting opportunity for educators to connect their classrooms with other classes around the world. Once you have connected with another educator in the Empatico community, you can coordinate an asynchronous exchange as detailed below. This cross-cultural experience will enable students to share their stories, explore different perspectives, and make new friends in another community.
Empatico exchanges are most successful when educators plan and get to know each other beforehand. To do this, please schedule a video call to connect with your partner educator, and use this opportunity to share your goals for this experience, exchange helpful information about your students, and discuss how you will lead the exchange together. Our "Get to Know Your Partner Educator" resource provides suggested conversation prompts for your meeting.
- Introduce the activity to your students. You might explain: “Imagine filling a box with some of your favorite things and shipping it around the world to help new friends get to know you! What would you put in it? What would you want them to know about you? Today, we’re going to figure that out by creating a digital package to send to our partner class! We might have a lot of different ideas about what to include in our package, so we’ll approach this project with kindness and respect so everyone feels included, and it helps capture what makes our class so unique.”
- Select one of the following projects: School Tour or Class Survey. Use strategies such as dot-voting to ensure that all students have the opportunity to contribute ideas and participate in the decision-making process as you decide what information to include in your class project.
- After completing your class project, gather students to discuss the questions below:
• Did you enjoy working together on our class project? What skills helped us collaborate with each other?
• How do you feel when you look at our finished product? Do you think it includes everyone in our class?
• What do you think our partner class will learn about us when they see our project?
- Share your students’ project with your partner class via Empatico Chat or email, and include other materials in your “Hello!” package, such as a class photo, a letter introducing yourselves, or a video of your local community.
- After exchanging your digital packages, review the enclosed artifacts with your students and encourage them to share their observations by asking these questions:
• What can we learn about our partner class from their project? What similarities and differences do you notice?
• Is there anything that surprised you?
• What is something that you found interesting and want to learn more about?
• What questions do you have for our partner class?
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.