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Unit Title

Empathy, Kindness and Blogging

Course(s)

GC/PSHE (locally agreed parts of the UK National Curriculum)

Designed by

Rory Bell

Time Frame

Seven Week Unit

Stage 1- Desired Results

ISTE Standards:

1. Empowered Learner

Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences. Students:

  1. articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
  2. build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.
  3. use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

2. Digital Citizen

Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical. Students:

a. cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.
b. engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.
c. demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the rights and obligations of using and sharing intellectual property.
d. manage their personal data to maintain digital privacy and security and are aware of data-collection technology used to track their navigation online.

7. Global Collaborator

Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally. Students:

a. use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.
b. use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.
c. contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.
d. explore local and global issues and use collaborative technologies to work with others to investigate solutions.

Transfer

Learners will be able to....

  • Demonstrate a deep understanding about empathy and how to bring this understanding into our actions, online and offline.
  • Use this understanding to discuss and share personal views based on this concept.
  • Present their opinion on blogging platforms.
  • Add comments to blogging platforms.
  • Collaborate with others, towards a common goal.
  • Compare and contrast different views, using online tools.
  • Drive their own learning and independently further their knowledge.
  • Act as an effective Digital Citizen.

Meaning

UNDERSTANDINGS

Learners will understand...

  • What empathy is.
  • How to communicate empathetically.
  • The difference between empathy, kindness and sympathy.
  • How empathy can be applied to different situations, including: characters from stories, online connections and when meeting others for the first time.
  • The philosophy and importance of blogging.
  • The rules behind being an effective Digital Citizen.

Essential Questions

Learners will keep considering...

  • Key Question: What does it look like to act empathetically online? How do we achieve this?

            How can we work with others to further our understanding?

  • What is empathy?
  • What words or phrases should we use when acting empathetically?
  • How do our actions potentially influence others?
  • Why is empathy important?
  • What happens if empathy is missing?

Acquisition

Learners will know…

  • How to share ideas appropriately on blogging platforms.
  • How to comment appropriately on blogging platforms.
  • How to stay safe online.
  • How to teach others online.
  • How to learn from a range of experts when online.
  • How to collaborate globally through a shared project.

Learners will be skilled at...

  • Adding blog posts.
  • Commenting on the posts of others.
  • Adding a range of media online.
  • Participating in debate fairly and safely.
  • Offering ideas and comments that are enriching for other users.

Stage 2- Evidence

PERFORMANCE TASK(S):

Learners will show that they understand by evidence of…

GRASPS Task written in student-friendly language:

Goal

Formative Assessments:

  • Seesaw/Google Classroom: A shared definition of what empathy is and a discussion of the key language that should be used.
  • Seesaw/Google Classroom: A shared understanding based on Digital Citizenship and staying safe online.
  • Seesaw/Google Classroom: A record of blog posts and comments added on an ongoing basis.
  • Seesaw/Google Classroom: Discussion around the book ‘Jemmy Button’.
  • Seesaw/Google Classroom/Empatico/screen shots: Completed shared project based on a global connection.

Role

Student’s Role:

  • To apply their understanding of empathy to their online interactions.
  • To generate own questions and reflect on progress. During each session, to apply knowledge to either independent or shared tasks.
  • To collaborate with others through blog posts or comments.
  • To apply their understanding about staying safe online to their online interactions.

Teacher’s Role:

  • To coach children based on learning and blogging skills.
  • To be a point of contact for technical support with the digital tools used.
  • To ensure that children are assisted with misconceptions or teamwork issues.
  • To prepare all resources accordingly (blog, etc) and to model good practice.
  • To stage ‘mini-plenaries’ to ensure that all learners are progressing to the best of their ability, and to encourage the flow of learning throughout.

Audience

All work with be presented on a blog and will be accessed by staff, pupils and parents.

Situation

Aside from the initial sessions, all lessons will be led by a culture of blogging and collaboration. Lessons will be led by the students through using these tools and the teacher/other students will convene for discussions and debriefs where appropriate. Sessions will be relatively short yet frequent during the seven week period.

Product

Class Blog which communicates the understanding, views, collaboration and debates had by the Year 4 Students during each lesson. The final global collaboration project will be largely completed without a specific product, but will be documented in screen shots and through reflections on the blog.


OTHER EVIDENCE:

Learners  will show they have achieved Stage 1 goals by demonstrating their understanding through the Six Facets of Understanding...

Explain

Students will show any prior knowledge about empathy via Socrative in Lesson 1. They will explain their understanding of each session’s topic on the blog.

Interpret

Each session will be lead by a central enquiry question, which the children will interpret during the session. Comments on the blog will show continuous interpretation of ideas and reflections on learning.

Apply

Students will apply their knowledge of empathy through use of the digital tools in each session. They will also apply their learning based on Digital Citizenship to their interactions. The blog will enable self assessment and critique of peers. They will also reflect based on the central enquiry questions and collaborative tasks.

Have perspective

The blog means that all tasks are collaborative which actively encourage recordings of the children’s perspective of each aspect of learning during those sessions. They will reply to the perspectives of others as well.

Empathize

Students will actively consider their audience as all work will be added to the blog. They will similarly do so when replying or commenting on the learning of others. They will actively empathise with others throughout all sessions.

Have self-knowledge

The children will reflect about each enquiry question that is central to each session. They will also consider their progress during ‘mini plenaries’ in class and via comments on the blog.

Stage 3- Learning Plan

Time Frame

Learning Events

Progress Monitoring

Unit to be taught over a seven week period

The first two sessions are longer, whereas the other lessons are short

Session One (longer session):

What is empathy? How do we act empathetically?

  • What is empathy? Children to record their initial thoughts on Socrative and submit to the teacher (initial assessment).
  • Explore: What is the difference between empathy kindness and sympathy? What key words or phrases are useful when we talk about ourselves or others with empathy? Watch videos and look at videos on the IWB together that link with and introduce each of these questions. Discuss as a class.
  • Children to record their key words that relate to empathy on Socrative.
  • CT to copy all of the words into a Wordle and display for the class to see on the IWB.
  • Use the image to further discuss the key questions and record as a mind map to reach a shared understanding.
  • Explain that the classroom is our shared safe space where we act with kindness. During this topic we will practice thinking and acting empathetically to spread our safe space beyond the classroom walls – both online and offline.

Session Two (longer session):

How do we stay safe online? Why do people blog?

  • Watch Creative Commons videos to introduce Digital Citizenship, digital footprints and staying safe online.
  • How can we keep safe on social media? How can we help others to stay safe? How can we manage our digital footprints? How can I share my interests and skills with others? How can we help others?
  • Discuss these questions and explore further with Creative Commons media.
  • Break into small teams and record thoughts about each key area on shared Padlets. Each group will get a chance to add to every topic area.
  • Stage a final discussion and devise a list of key class rules. Show the class the blog and add the class rules here.

Session Three:

How do we add our views to a blog? How do we comment on the posts of others effectively?

  • Recap learning of the last two sessions.
  • Children to access the Seesaw blog and set up their profiles. To post their first blog: what do they think empathy is? Teach if necessary.
  • Show the children how to comment effectively and introduce a selection of useful/empathetic sentence starters (add to blog). Children to comment on each other’s definitions.
  • Draw attention to superb examples. Why is this comment so good?

N.B. Now the children will regularly upload their work in other subjects and will comment on each other’s work. This understanding of how to interact online will thus continue throughout the year and become routine. It will also be important to help these skills to transfer offline and into the daily interactions of the class.

Session Four:

Why is being positive about yourself and others important? How does it link with kindness, compassion and empathy?

  • Children to give a fellow student a ‘shout out’ on the blog. They can choose their method, e.g. create a video shout out (vlog style), audio file, scribed photograph, digital art, etc. To coach students with this free choice and with the applicable iPad apps.

Options: Camera, Book Creator, Strip Designer, Explain Edu, Voice Recorder

  • Upload to the blog and all to read.

  • Discuss: how did that make the receiver/giver feel?

  • Children to complete a gratitude task – to again have a free choice to digitally create something that they are thankful for. Add to blog again.

  • Reflect: why is being positive about yourself and others important? How does it link with kindness, compassion and empathy?

            What kind of affect would speaking negatively have if online? Is it any different to such comments offline? Can you put yourself in their shoes?

Session Five:

Can you put yourself in the shoes of a character from a book? How can we debate effectively online?

  • Chn to create and engage in discussions based on characters from the current studies in English lessons, based on the text Jemmy Button. E.g. should Jemmy leave his home? Is the button a fair trade?
  • Children to post their opinions based on the debate and reply to the comments of others. CT to monitor the language used in the debate and how it is led by the students themselves. Stage discussion points along the way to discuss how we can interact with kindness and empathy.

  • Afterwards, debrief about how the discussions went, and potential improvements for next time.

Session Six and Seven:

How can we collaborate with others globally? How can we act empathetically? Why is empathy important in this context?

  • Session to follow separate resources and plan from Empatico: https://empatico.org/activities - see ‘Get to know you’, ‘Helping hands’ and ‘Our local landmarks’.

Resources / Materials:

  • Laptops
  • Blogs set up and children to have gained access.
  • ‘Offline resources’: IWB, flipchart, pens, paper, etc.
  • Empatico plans and resources.