Developing Empathy Through Retold Fairy Tales
The ability to feel and display empathy is essential to the emotional and social development of young people. Empathy helps students connect to others, respond with kindness and thoughtfulness and gives them a broader perspective on humankind. It’s also an effective tool against bullying, prejudice and injustice, and in breaking down stereotypes.
Teaching empathy is becoming more and more important in an overly connected yet still disconnected culture. In this lesson, students explore the meaning of empathy by watching a video highlighting how a Native American saying, “walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins” relates to this ability. Students examine a well-known fairy tale, “Cinderella,” to try to “walk a mile” in the shoes of each character. Visit Florida PBS LearningMedia for the lesson and video.
This resource is part of the Transformative Teachers collection, which was designed to equip educators with tools and methods for fostering resilience and ethical leadership skills among young people. As you develop and adapt the methods shown in the videos, you may want to team up with a group of teachers across a range of subject areas, as well as guidance counselors and health educators.