Empathy Building Resources


Childsplay understands that social emotional development is extremely important in your classrooms. We’ve put together some of our favorite empathy building resources to help you stay up to date and help your students build empathy.


Did you know that empathy in young people has greatly dropped over the last 30 years? “The research, led by Sara H. Konrath of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and published online in August in Personality and Social Psychology Review, found that college students’ self-reported empathy has declined since 1980, with an especially steep drop in the past 10 years.” You can read the full article, which summarizes the study here:


The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1971 which focuses on combating hate, discrimination and intolerance through education and legal proceedings. They provide a wide variety of online teaching resources for educators as they believe that educating young people will help them become great leaders in the future. The link below will take you to a series of lessons plans for teaching empathy for all grade levels.

Southern Poverty Law Center Developing Empathy in the Classroom Grades K – 12: 


We could all use more training. The Anti-Defamation League is a leader in the field of anti-bias education and empathy building with schools since 1913. They have a free series of fantastic webinars to expand your toolbox. Check out the schedule here:


Are you looking for ways to incorporate more empathy in your literature classes? Here’s a list of 13 books to help promote empathy discussions:


Edutopia was founded by the George Lucas Foundation (yes, THE George Lucas) in 1991 to create an online community to emphasize core learning strategies with research based topics that are easy to navigate. The following link will take you to lesson plans that will guide you through Building Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students: Empathy:


Performing Shakespeare can help promote empathy in students! Learn how and why to use Shakespearean insults and compliments in your classroom: