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EMPATHY

Community Meeting

Silent Greeting

Materials

  • Balloons (1 per group)

Greeting Objective

The learners will greet one another with an empathic silent greeting.

Directions

  • Students sit in a circle.
  • One student begins by entering the middle of the circle.
  • Student greets the class with a wave, thumbs-up, or other “silent greeting type” gesture.
  • Class repeats the gesture back to the student.

Use the following format:

Connie: Enters circle and waves to class.
Class: Waves back to Connie.

  • Greeting continues around the circle until all students have greeted the class.

Understanding Disabilities

Engagement Objective

The learners will experience the loss of using certain body parts, while playing a balloon game to understand and empathize with people who have disabilities.

Directions

  • Discuss what it means to have a disability. (i.e., a person who cannot hear has a hearing disability. Instead of saying “hello” you may
           wave “hello,” just like you did in the greeting.)
  • Arrange class in small groups of 6-7 students. Each group forms its own circle.
  • Each group will receive one balloon.
  • The idea is to work as a team to keep the balloon from hitting the floor.
  • As play continues, the teacher will call out body parts the students are no longer able to use (i.e., left hand, right leg, head).
  • If the balloon hits the ground three times the group is out.
  • Once they are “out of body parts” or all the teams are out, the teacher may either end activity or start again.
  • Conclude by debriefing about the challenges of this game and how they were overcome. Then discuss how some people must go
           through life without the use of some body parts or other disabilities, and how important it is to empathize and help these individuals.

Inform

End your community meeting by informing your students about the schedule of the day.

Family Connection

Send home directions to “Understanding Disabilities” game. Encourage families to discuss how this activity was challenging. Families may even come up with ways to help disabled neighbors or friends.

Download Letter

ASCA: Grade K, PS:A2.3 Recognize, accept, respect and appreciate individual differences.

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