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:

  • Knowing the definition of empathy is helpful. 

  • Create authentic empathy scenarios in a school setting.


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

  • In small or whole 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. E.g.,

    • “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.

Activity: It’s time for students to practice empathy in different comic scenarios.

  • 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.

Closure: Have students share their comics in a whole-group setting. Discuss how everyone shows empathy in different ways.


  • Provide visuals as needed.

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

  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature. 

  • Allow students to work with a peer model.


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