1st Grade Empathy Lesson Plan Example

Topic: Empathy

Objectives & Outcomes

  • Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the concept of empathy and how it can be used to help others.


  • Play-dough
  • Markers
  • Small objects such as buttons, coins, or small figurines (optional)


  • Ask students if they have ever felt sad or upset about something that happened to someone else.
  • Ask students what they did to make themselves feel better.
  • Discuss how showing empathy can help others feel better when they are sad or upset.

Direct Instruction

  • Introduce the concept of empathy by explaining that it means understanding and feeling what someone else is feeling.
  • Show students the pictures or videos of different people experiencing different emotions. Ask them to guess what each person is feeling based on their facial expressions and body language.
  • Discuss the different emotions that the students identified and how each emotion can make us feel different things.
  • Ask students to think of a time when they felt empathy for someone else. Have them share their story with the class.

Guided Practice

  • Divide the class into small groups.
  • Give each group a set of emotions cards and have them sort the cards into different categories.
  • Have each group choose one person to be the "emotions expert" and answer questions about the different emotions.
  • Have the groups share their knowledge with the class and discuss any differences in their understanding.

Independent Practice

  • Give each student a piece of paper and a pen.
  • Ask students to think of someone they know well (could be a family member, friend, or teacher) and draw a picture of that person showing one of the emotions they learned about in class.
  • Have students write a sentence beside their drawing explaining why the person in their picture is showing that emotion.


  • Ask students to share their drawings and sentences with the class.
  • Have a few students volunteer to explain their drawings and sentences to the rest of the class.
  • Review the five emotions and the definitions again as a class.


  • Observe students during the independent practice activity and provide feedback on their understanding of the five emotions and their ability to empathize with others.
  • Have students turn in their drawings and sentences as a form of assessment.

Create amazing lesson
plans 10X faster with AI.

Use AI to instantly generate high-quality lesson plans in seconds

Try NOW!