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Teaching Compassion with Angelo by David Macaulay


Grades: 3-5

CASEL Standard: Social awareness:  The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures and contexts

Character Education Lesson Objective: To identify ways to show compassion to others


Part 1: 

  • Raise your hand if you know what compassion is.  Can anyone try to explain it?
  • Compassion is caring about other people, treating them with kindness and wanting to help someone who needs help.
  • I would like you to take a minute and think about whether someone has ever showed you compassion.  What happened?  How did you feel when you were being shown compassion?
  • Showing someone compassion can make a huge difference for that person.  The person to whom you show compassion knows that one person cares enough to stop and help or do something kind for them.
  • Showing someone compassion can also make you feel really good.  Knowing that you were able to help someone feel better or help someone with something difficult
  • You are going to be working with a partner and doing some role plays.  You should take turns being the person showing compassion.
  • Go through each of the role play scenarios and think about how you would hope someone would treat you in that situation.  Think about how you can show someone you care, treat someone with kindness and help if they need help.
  • After the students have gone through the role plays, bring them back together and discuss the different ways that they showed compassion.

Part 2: 

  • We are going to be reading a book called, Angelo by David Macaulay.
  • Read the book.
  • Why do you think Angelo ended up taking the bird all the way home with him after he found her?  What do you think you would have done?
  • Angelo showed Sylvia compassion when he cared for her and helped her to get better.  Sylvia also showed Angelo compassion when she helped him finish his work.  Can you think of a time when you showed someone compassion and then they showed you compassion in a different way?
  • When you show compassion and help someone who needs help, it can make you feel really good to know that you helped and made a difference.  Both Angelo and Sylvia did this for each other.

Part 3: 

  • We have talked about compassion and how there are many different ways to show compassion.  As long as you care about other people, treat them with kindness and want to help someone who needs it, you are showing compassion.
  • You are now going to be finishing a story.  The first few sentences of a story have been written.  You are going to write the ending to the story.  Make sure that the ending of the story includes someone showing compassion.
  • After the students have written the ending, allow them to share how they finished the story. 
  • Highlight the similarities and differences in how students chose to have the characters show compassion.

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Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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