Empathy Essentials

Empathy is understanding how someone else feels and then taking an extra step to show them we care. In Empathy Essentials, learners take another’s perspective by accessing all the information they know about that person and applying it with the current situation. When we can do this, we successfully adapt behavior to align with another’s mood, thereby forming stronger bonds and relationships.

Sample Video:

Using Empathy Essentials with Friends

SOCIAL SKILLS IN ACTION (SSIA) – The Empathy Essentials teach the two steps to show others empathy. We need to understand how someone feels and then take an action to show we care. Showing empathy is important because it helps us make and keep friends.

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Transcript:

[INTRODUCTION – animated scene]

Narrator: Having empathy means you can understand how someone else feels in a particular situation.

Boy: I didn’t make the basketball team.

Narrator: This is called Putting Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes. Empathy helps us form friendships because it helps us connect with others.

Girl: I’m really sorry about that.

Narrator: When others feel that you care about how they feel, they will feel closer to you in return.

Boy: Thanks!

Narrator: We can use the Empathy Essentials to learn this skill. First, we figure out how the person is feeling.

Boy: I didn’t make the basketball team.

Girl: (thought bubble) I think he’s feeling sad.

Narrator: Once you know how they’re feeling, you need to do an action to show you care. It’s not enough to just think about their feelings – we show them! We can say things like: “I know how you feel.”, “I hate when that happens to me.”, or “That must have been hard.”

 

[SKILLS]

Narrator: The Empathy Essentials include the following two steps:

(1) Figure out how the person is feeling.

(2) Show the person we understand their feelings and care about them by doing an action or saying something nice.

Let’s see what happens when Kiara does not show empathy for her friend Maya.

 

[SCENE 1 – Kiara is standing by her locker]

Maya: (approaches Maya) Hey, Kiara.

Kiara: Hey, Maya!

Maya: What’s up?

Kiara: I’m so excited. I got invited to Johnny’s party. Are you going?

Maya: Oh, I didn’t get invited. (looks away)

Kiara: Well, I heard there’s going to be games, pizza. We’ll maybe even watch a movie!

Maya: (silent)

Kiara: Well, see you later! (leaves)

Maya: Alright. Bye. (waves and looks down)

Narrator: Did Kiara think about how Maya felt about not getting invited to the party? Let’s see what everyone is thinking.

Maya: (thought bubble) I’m so sad I didn’t get invited to Johnny’s party. And I really wish Kiara would stop talking about it so much.

Kiara: (thought bubble) I’m so excited about the party. I want to tell everyone how fun it’s going to be!

Narrator: Kiara didn’t notice that Maya felt sad that she didn’t get invited to the party. When Kiara kept talking about the party, it made Maya feel even more upset about missing out. Kiara didn’t read Maya’s mood. She did not read Maya’s body language or listen to her tone of voice. Let’s watch what happens when Kiara remembers to use her Empathy Essentials and notices how Maya is feeling.

 

[SCENE 2 – Kiara is standing by her locker]

Maya: (approaches Maya) Hey, Kiara.

Kiara: Hey, Maya!

Maya: What’s up?

Kiara: I’m so excited. I got invited to Johnny’s party. Are you going?

Maya: Oh, I didn’t get invited. (looks away)

Kiara: (inner thought) Maya looks pretty sad about not getting invited to the party. I should probably stop talking about it. I remember when my friends made plans to see a movie without me and I felt upset about it. I’m going to try to say something to Maya to let her know I understand how she’s feeling.

Kiara: Oh, I’m so sorry, Maya. I’m sure Johnny didn’t mean to leave you out.

Maya: Yeah. Maybe.

Kiara: We should totally hang out this weekend! We can go to the mall or see a movie or something.

Maya: Yeah, that sounds fun! I’ll text you this weekend?

Kiara: Sounds good!

Kiara and Maya: (waves to each other) Bye! (leave simultaneously)

Narrator: Let’s see what everyone is thinking.

Maya: (thought bubble) I was feeling sad about not getting invited to the party, but Kiara made me feel better. She’s a good friend.

Kiara: (thought bubble) It felt good to show Maya empathy because it made us closer as friends.

Narrator: That time, Kiara was able to use the Empathy Essentials to connect and feel closer with her friend, Maya. First, Kiara read Maya’s mood by looking at her body language. She saw Maya looking down with a sad look on her face. Kiara also listened to how Maya’s tone of voice changed when she said, “I didn’t get invited.” Then, Kiara thought about how the situation would make her feel. Kiara wouldn’t feel very good if she wasn’t invited to the party. She realized Maya probably felt sad. Next, Kiara thought about what she could say to try to make Maya feel better. She stopped talking about the party and changed the topic to plans that involved both of them. By using her Empathy Essentials, Kiara was able to show Maya that she understood how she felt.

 

[WHAT DID WE LEARN?]

Narrator: So, what did we learn?

We can use empathy to show friends that we care about them, and to build stronger friendships.

The Empathy Essentials include the following two steps:

(1) Figure out how the person is feeling.

(2) Show the person we understand their feelings and care about them by doing or saying something nice.

 

Companion Worksheet:

Every video comes with a companion worksheet for students to review what they just learned. This helps assess comprehension and promote generalization by reinforcing the concepts covered in the video.

Videos to teach Empathy Essentials

Interactive online games to teach Empathy Essentials

Worksheets and activities to teach Empathy Essentials

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