What You See is What You Get . . . Or is it?
The learners will identify situations when people “camouflage” or hide their feelings and practice being empathetic to people that are hiding their feelings by "stepping back"
- Show students a picture of a rainforest or a coral reef in which camouflaged animals are hidden.
- Discussion may begin with, “What do you notice about this picture?” or “Are you sure that you’re noticing
everything possible in this picture?”
- Lead the discussion toward the wonder of camouflage and how nature uses it to protect animals.
- Then lead the discussion toward people and how we may or may not be obvious with our emotions . . . that
what we say or do may “camouflage” how we’re really feeling.
- Share and discuss examples of times we may hide or “camouflage” our feelings.
- Your pet may have passed away the night before, so you may act extra quiet in class or not play with
your friends on the playground.
- You are not invited to a classmate’s birthday party, so you may be mean to people on the playground
or say things that hurt people’s feelings.
- Explain to students that when people are “camouflaging” or hiding their feelings, we need to be empathetic
to that person by stepping back and trying to understand what is really going on with that person. Ask the
students, “How do we step back?”
- Ask the person if something is bothering them.
- Be a good listener.
- Students may pair-share and practice stepping back, in order to help them understand how others are feeling.
Partner #1 is the person with the “situation” happening to them. Partner #2 is the one who steps back and is a
good listener. You may use the following situations:
- Situation #1—You forgot your lunch today, so you are mean to your good friend when lining up.
- Situation #2—You found out that your mom is very sick, so you have a negative attitude about
school all day.
- If time permits, switch partner roles, act out one situation using empathetic behaviors in front of the class.
End your community meeting by informing your students about the schedule of the day.