Expressing Empathy

Educational Objective: The student will state in words that he feels how someone else feels.
Language Arts Standard: Listening & Speaking

Materials Needed:
The Prop Box with 2 telephones
Brainstorm Form
Appropriate Rubric: One for each student to complete during each role play. To download the student rubric, click here

The Lesson:

• Identify Need
• Introductory Activity
• Define Steps and Sequences of Skill
• Model the Skill

1. Look at the person and say their name.
2. Listen actively. Demonstrate comprehension by restatement.
3. Touching, such as a hand on their shoulder may be appropriate.
4. State "I can't imagine how bad that feels,but it must be really awful."
5. Or state, "I kind of know how you feel. I felt (say how) when that happened to me. Be specific.
6. A card or a hug may be appropriate.
7. Use a tone of voice that matches how the other person feels.

• Role Plays/Classroom Discussion - Completion of rubric.
• Applications: Write a letter to a friend whose dad had heart surgery.
• Independent Uses


Student (Speaker)__________________ Student (Subject)____________________

Date: _____________________
Observer's Name:_________________________

Observation No Yes
Did the speaker look at the person and say his name?    
Did the speaker listen actively?    
Did the speaker touch the subject in a comforting gesture?    
Did the speaker state his understanding of the problem?    
Did the speaker relate a similar personal experience?    
Did the speaker give the person a card or hug?.    
Did the speaker use a comforting tone?    

Additional Comments:________________________________________

Standards Addressed in Lesson:

6th Grade
Speaking Applications:
2.4 Offer a logical sequence of information and engage the listener, foster an acceptance of an idea.

7th Grade
Speaking Applications:
1.2 Determine a speakerís attitude toward a subject.
1.6 Use speaking techniques, including voice modulation , inflection, tempo, enunciation and eye contact for effective communication.

8th Grade
Speaking Applications:
1.2 Paraphrase a speakerís purpose and point of view and ask relevant questions concerning the speakerís content, delivery and purpose.
1.3 Organize information to achieve particular purposes by matching the message, vocabulary, voice modulation, expression and tone to the audience and purpose.