The word of the week is sensitivity, but I wish I had called it empathy in the beginning. For those of you just tuning in, I want you to know about my character development series. You can also read more about it on my tour of Meaningful Mama. I have been working on this Character Development Series for over two years. There are 52 words we focus on throughout the year (one for each week of the year). Each week, there is an intro to the word and a creation of a word ring that the kids can use as a reminder of both the word and the Biblical scripture that goes along with it. Next comes the “I Will” statements that help claim ideas for the week. You will then find 5 or 6 more crafts, activities, games or lessons that help focus on the word. I call this series “the heart of my blog” because raising my kids to make a difference in this world and live out godly character through their faith in Christ is the best legacy I can leave behind. This year I am focusing on adding literature resources to the series, so without further adieu, I’ll bring on the books for this week that focus on sensitivity and empathy. I normally check out a bunch of books from the library, read them with my kids and do my own review. This week I initially didn’t find a lot of books on empathy in my library and online search. I only had a few books on the list. Then, my daughter brought home a list of books from school. I was so excited to finally have what I needed for this post, but I didn’t have time to search on the library, get them ordered and pick them up. Therefore, this week I only bring you a brief summary of these books.
Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy – This book is about a little girl named Emily who wants to understand the meaning of empathy. This book is about her own journey of trying to walk in other people’s shoes. How will this impact her life? Will it really impact the lives of others as well?
Just Because: Where Seeing Another Point of View Makes a Better You – Winner of the 2012 “Creative Child” magazine book of the year for family values, Mom’s Choice Award® Gold Winner and Young Voices Award. Winner of the 2013 Gelett Burgess children’s book award.
How Do I Stand in Your Shoes? – This is a story, discussion questions and worksheets about trying to look at life from another person’s perspective. It is about a little girl who has no patience for others. She sees herself as brighter and more talented. Her teacher suggests that she try and learn what is like to walk in someone else’s shoes, and this story is about her attempt to do that.
Elephants Make Fine Friends (Penguin Core Concepts) – Ella’s best friend is her elephant. They do everything together–watch the moon rise, read books, and even go to the movies. But one day, Ella begins to look at her elephant differently. He can’t fit through the doorway or in the bathtub or at the dinner table. It takes a bit of time apart for Ella to realize that elephants do make fine friends!
I am a child, Just Like You – This is a book about understanding children that might seem different than you. It encourages you to understand, be sensitive and look for commonalities. It is written from the perspective of a child with autism. I found a full book review at Special Needs.
Bully – This book is about a bully who learns to be sensitive to the words he says to others and how his words impacts others lives negatively – as well as his own.
The Wall (Reading Rainbow Books) – This story is about a boy who travels to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. to see his grandfather’s name. The boys awareness is heightened as he sees the other visitors at the wall who have obviously been impacted by this war. It teaches kids to be sensitive to the lives and stories around us.
Oliver Button Is a Sissy – This book helps kids become aware of the pain that can be caused someone who is bullied for being different. He is a boy who has interests in art and theatre and dance. He is then teased by the other kids for his differences. It is important for us to talk to our kids about differences and how we need to be sensitive and loving.
Now One Foot, Now the Other – This sounds like a touching story about a grandson who is learning about his grandfather and the disabilities he is developing in old age. It recalls the time when grandpa was teaching Bobby to walk as a baby and shows the contrast of Bobby needing to show grandpa how to walk after his stroke.
Through Grandpa’s Eyes (Harper Trophy Book) – This is another story about a grandfather and grandson. In this story, the grandfather is blind. It is an opportunity for the grandson and readers to try and have empathy by learning about what it might be like to not be able to see the world.
What’s Wrong with Timmy? – This is a story about a child with disabilities. It teaches empathy to kids by letting them see into other people’s world and experiences. It helps kids to learn to accept children who are created different than them.
I found another list of empathy books at Library Thing.