While it’s incredibly important for children to develop empathy, every parent and teach can agree that it’s not easy by any means to actually teach empathy. However, Sarah Healy – who teaches second grade at Greer Elementary School – managed to do just that. In fact, her lesson was so successful, it spread far beyond her second grade classroom, inspiring empathy throughout the entire school and community. The project was even featured on local news!
Check out the inspiring story of how she used technology to teach empathy:
Interested in creating a similar project? Here’s how to teach empathy using tech:
1. Pick an important cause
Sarah’s class created a campaign for their local animal shelter, run by the SPCA. This was a great choice for elementary-level students, as the cause – helping animals in need – is one that’s a bit easier for them to connect with.
2. Decide on the action you’d like others to take
In this instance, the students decided to collect pet food for cats and dogs at the SPCA. Again, this is a great choice, as it’s a low-cost item, making it easier for other students to contribute.
3. Craft your campaign
The second graders at Greer Elementary created a fantastic video campaign using the free ChatterPix Kid app. This is quite easy, even for those that don’t have advanced technical skills:
- Write a short campaign message.
- Obtain the photo(s) you wish to use in your campaign. In this instance, students used photos of animals currently up for adoption at the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA.
- Download ChatterPix Kid on your classroom device(s).
- Import the image you wish to use and record your campaign message on ChatterPix.
The finished product will be a cool talking image that relays your campaign message to others!
4. Share your campaign
Over the course of two weeks, the 2nd graders’ ChatterPix images were shared during morning announcements at Greer Elementary. This inspired students throughout the school to take action and donate to the cause.
At the end of the two weeks, Sarah’s students had collected over 200 items for the local SPCA, and were rewarded with a visit from a 9 1/2 month old SPCA puppy named Wilbur.
“For them it was a way to take something out of the community and do something for someone else, rather than thinking of themselves,” said Sarah Healy.