If we are raising children to be global citizens, to be changemakers in the world, and to be leaders in kindness, one of the most important skills we need to help them develop is empathy. I’m sharing today 18 videos about empathy to introduce kids to understanding the feelings of others.
First, what is empathy? Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s condition from their perspective. We often hear about “putting ourselves in their shoes.” It is a key element of emotional intelligence, and a skill that helps us build and maintain relationships. Empathy is the base of tolerance and compassion and kindness. It teaches kids to be helpful and to communicate better. When kids are shown examples of empathy, and are introduced to the meaning, they begin to recognize it in their own lives.
Start Empathy is my go-to database of resources for teaching kids empathy as “a community of individuals and institutions dedicated to building a future in which every child masters empathy.” The have resources for teachers, parents, school districts, and students!
Teaching Tolerance is another fabulous resource for teachers: “from film kits and lesson plans to the building blocks of a customized Learning Plan—texts, student tasks and teaching strategies—our resources will help you bring relevance, rigor and social emotional learning into your classroom—all for FREE.”
Finally, one of my favorite ways to teach kids about empathy is through service learning. These 35 service projects for kids inspire kids to think of ways to make the world a better place, both in their local community and in our global community.
Videos about Empathy for Kids
I have gathered my favorite videos about empathy for students and families, and roughly have them in order from our youngest littles to our older teens. In reality, the bigger kids will get the message from seeing all of the videos- adults too! But the TED talks at the end might be a little advanced for younger ones. I was able to embed all of the videos here, per request of a teacher who is able to view them on my web site, but not on youtube. The only video I wasn’t able to embed was the Daniel Tiger video (the second one below), because it is housed on cbc- just click the picture, and it will take you there.
Preview them first as always, enjoy viewing, and stimulating discussion among your kids! (and grab the kleenex for a few of these!)
What did I miss? Please share your favorite videos about empathy for kids in the comments below!