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Literacy Resources for Building Empathy in the Classroom

By Alina O'Donnell
 | Mar 01, 2018

ThinkstockPhotos-179217093_x600Today’s students must reconcile what they learn at home, what they are taught in school, and what they see on social media with their own questions, observations, and reactions. As educators, it is our responsibility to help them to make sense of the world.

A growing body of research highlights the power of stories to help children manage their own and other people’s feelings. When we read, we insert ourselves into the story, walk in the characters’ shoes, and see through new eyes. The empathy we feel toward other characters wires our brains to have the same sensitivity toward real people—which helps us to build positive relationships based on trust.

These impacts extend far beyond the four walls of a classroom. The empathy gained from perspective-taking lends to more nuanced thinking, effective communication, and compassionate action in the real world.

Here are some resources for building empathy in the literacy classroom:

Alina O’Donnell is the communications strategist at ILA and the editor of Literacy Daily.

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