Empathy and Compassion

Empathy and Compassion

This month’s theme is focused on empathy and compassion. The following are various resources from family activities, videos, book recommendations and read alouds you can participate in with your child.

Family Activities

Activity 1: Read Together

When you have empathy for others, you can say or do many things to show your care and concern. Showing care or concern for others is called compassion.

Saying something kind or doing something helpful for others are examples of showing compassion.

Practice Together: Compassion at Home

  1. Work together to write examples of things you have done or said or could do or say to show compassion to others at home. There are examples to get you started.
  2. Talk about how showing compassion made you feel in those situations.


  • Compassion Looks Like: Helping a family member bring in some heavy groceries.
  • Compassion Sounds Like: Telling family members you care about them when you notice they are feeling sad.

Why Is It Important?

Learning about how to show compassion for other people helps children take action on their feelings of empathy.

Activity 2: Talk About It

What does compassion mean to you? Talk about this question with an adult at home. Then create a collage together on a blank paper that expresses what you both think compassion means. You can draw, paint, or write words; or glue photos, pictures from magazines, or shapes from paper.  Be creative!

Activity 3: Talk, Practice and Write it Down

Your child is learning how to show care and concern by saying or doing something kind or helpful. This is called showing compassion.

Ask your child: What does showing compassion mean? Possible answers: It means saying something kind or doing something to help. It shows you care about how someone feels.

When is a time you can show compassion for someone else? Possible answers: When someone is feeling sad, lonely, tired, or frustrated.

How do you feel when someone says something kind or helps you out? Possible answers: happy, special.

Practice at Home: Help your child notice when someone he or she knows could use some help or a kind word. For example:

  • I see that your sister can’t find her toy. What could you do to help?
  • It sure looks like Uncle Milo could use some help cleaning the sidewalk. Is that something you could do?

Write it Down: Write down ways to help at home.


Captain Compassion: Bully Prevention Superhero

You have the power to prevent bullying—learn more at captaincompassion.org!

Book Recommendations

Come With Me | Holly McGhee

A little girl, frightened by what she sees in the news, asks her parents what she can

do. Their simple, perfect solution is to say, “Come with me.” Hand-in-hand, they face

the world.

LEXILE: 550  (gr. K-2)

THEMES: Compassion, Empathy, Understanding Perspectives


Last Stop on Market Street | Matt de la Peña

CJ complains about the rain, taking the bus, and not having the same cool toys other

kids have. But with some gentle humor and encouragement from his grandmother, he

begins to see the beauty all around him.

LEXILE: 610 (gr. K-3)

THEMES: Compassion, Feelings, Understanding Perspectives


Be Kind | Pat Zietlow Miller

“Be kind” is nice advice, but how do you do it? A child navigates her school day trying,

and sometimes failing, to be as kind as possible.

LEXILE: ≈ 600 (gr. K-3)

THEMES: Being Assertive, Compassion, Empathy, Feelings, Friendship, Problem Solving,

Understanding Perspectives



Big Nate Lives it Up | Lincoln Peirce

Principal Nichols asks Nate—you may recognize him from the Big Nate comic strip—

to look after the new kid. Breckenridge Puffington III is no fun at all. But there seems

to be something strange and familiar about him.

LEXILE: 520 (gr. 2-5)

THEMES: Compassion, Emotion Management, Empathy, Feelings, Friendship, Problem, Solving,

Understanding Perspectives



Same Sun Here | Neela Vaswani & Silas House

An Indian immigrant girl and the son of a Kentucky coal miner become pen pals—and

forge an extraordinary, empathetic relationship across the miles. This powerful story

is told in two distinct voices.

LEXILE: 890 (gr. 4-6)

THEMES: Empathy, Friendship, Understanding Perspectives



Full Cicada Moon | Marilyn Hilton

In this novel written in verse, a girl spends her eighth-grade year struggling to fit in.

She’s half black and half Japanese, living in a predominately white town in Vermont in

1969—and dreams of being an astronaut.

LEXILE: 790 (gr. 4-6)

THEMES: Being Assertive, Compassion, Empathy, Problem Solving, Understanding Perspectives


Wonder | R.J. Palacio

Augie has some very noticeable facial deformities, and has been home-schooled all

his life—until fifth grade, when he starts his sister’s school. Immediately, he’s bullied.

He struggles, and eventually finds a way to stand out apart from his appearance.

LEXILE: 790 (gr. 4-6)

THEMES: Emotion Management, Empathy, Feelings, Understanding Perspectives