Subject: SEL (Social-Emotional Learning)

Lesson Length: 30 - 45 mins

Topic: Empathy

Grade Level: 4, 5

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will practice showing empathy in different comic scenarios.

Know Before You Start: Students should know the definition of empathy


  • Draw a brainstorm web on the board with the word empathy in the center.

  • In small groups, brainstorm adjectives or examples of what being empathetic looks like, e.g., being kind, gentle, compassionate, helpful, good listener, patience, perspective, no judgment, talk it out, console, comfort, encourage.

  • Explain the many ways we can help when we know someone is having a challenging time. We can share encouragement and sympathy with our words and actions. 

  • Ask students to share things they can say to show empathy:

    • “Thank you for trusting me with this. I’m here for you.”

    • “It makes me really sad to hear this happened to you.”

    • “I am here for you. You are very brave.”

    • “I am happy to listen to you any time.”

    • “What do you need right now?” 

  • Explain how being empathetic towards others is important because it keeps our school feeling safe for all.


  • Using the sample comic as a guide, create a comic showing characters acting empathetic in different dilemmas. 
    • Panel 1: Introduce the situation.
    • Panel 2: Show the character acting empathetic in that situation.


  • Have students share their comics with the group.
  • Discuss how everyone shows empathy in different ways.


  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature. 
  • Provide visuals as needed.

  • Provide preselected dilemmas for students to choose from, e.g., being the new kid, spilling milk on yourself at lunch, a person being bullied.

  • Allow students to work with a peer model.

  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.


Suggested Content Packs: