“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” By John Holmes
Character education may not be in the Common Core but as a teacher I often think about the ‘hidden curriculum’ of teaching a well-rounded student. Learning about our differences can be a powerful way for children to see from another person’s point of view helping them understand cultures; becoming more globally aware. Many wonder, ‘Can Compassion Be Taught’?
I believe compassion can be but it also needs to be modeled. This is a wonderful time of year to help teach and model compassion in the classroom. Having the class help a charity or run a food drive can teach compassion. Past service learning projects I have done with my students:
– Collecting Tabs for the Ronald McDonald House (My favorite service learning project because we do it all year and the students graph the number of tabs each month and we can see how much we have made a difference.
– Food drives for different soup kitchens
– Wrote letters of persuasion to a tree farmer asking to donate a few trees to those who couldn’t afford them.
– Reading Buddies and Tutoring help with a different grade level
– Coat drives
This is a great site to find more service learning ideas for the classroom: National Service Learning Organization
Books that help teach students about compassion:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
Yoko by Rosemary Wells
Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Great article on teaching compassion: Instilling Compassion
An Infographic by www.OpenColleges.edu.au
I would love to know what others have done in the classroom to help teach compassion and service learning project ideas.
I wish all my readers Happy Holidays! ♥