Career and Technical Education
Material Type:
Upper Elementary
  • Lesson Plan
    Public Domain Dedication
    Media Formats:

    Student empathy and social responsibility

    Student empathy and social responsibility


    In this lesson, students will learn how to be more empathetic and socially responsible on the internet, through open discussions and an activity involving sharing their photos and commenting on each others.


    Citizen 3a: Implement learning experiences for students to be empathetic and socially responsible

    In this lesson, we will teach students how to be more understanding and socially responsible on the internet. It's difficult to see the person behind the screen and know what you say through text on the internet has the same effect of saying it face to face. 

    -It should take roughly 40-60 minutes. The lesson will take place in person with homework online.

    -It should be targeted toward children in the upper elementary grade


    Please watch the following video with your students:

    What is empathy


    Have your students discuss the following questions:

    -What does the word empathy mean to you?

    -Why is it important that we have empathy?

    -Does it seem like bullying happens more online or in real life?

    After the discussion, explain that in this day and age, it is as important to foster a healthy community online as it is in person. Feelings are the same whether they are in person or through the internet. The internet is a great place to research, work, and sociallize together if used the correct way. 

    Watch the following video:

    Rings of Responsibility


    Ask the following question:

    -What are some ways that we can spread positive chain reactions rather than negative ones?


    After this discussion, proceed to explain the activity


    The activity is for students to post a picture that they took online to the forum of your choice. Most teachers use canvas, here is an example forum:


    After posting, students are then required to comment on at least three of their classmates post with something constructive and kind. Students may reply and comment on anything they would like in the forum as long as they practice showing positive behavior!

    Post Activity Discussion

    Following the activity, have an open discussion about the how they felt when someone wrote something kind about their picture. How did they feel after they complimented someone elses? How can we take what we learned in this closed forum to the "outside" world of the internet?