My point of view
Supporting tamariki in connecting emotions with scenarios and growing empathy, considering how one persons feelings about a situation could vary from anothers
Firstly, the science...
Tamariki practicing the ability to look at pictures and accurately infer the emotions of the characters supports their developing cognitive and social-emotional skills. This process involves perspective-taking, a crucial aspect of Theory of Mind, where tamariki learn to understand that others can have thoughts and feelings different from their own. When deciphering emotions in pictures, tamariki mentally adopt the viewpoint of the character, considering facial expressions, body language, and contextual cues. This practice not only hones their perspective-taking abilities but also fosters empathy development. By connecting emotionally with others in this way, tamariki cultivate a deeper understanding of diverse feelings, promoting the recognition and validation of emotions in both themselves and others. This early engagement in interpreting emotions through images lays the groundwork for advanced social cognition and empathetic responses as tamariki navigate real-world interpersonal interactions.
Why this activity?
If you have tamariki who find empathy tricky, then this activity is a great way to support this learning. And it’s easy, and you can make it fun, and you can extend the learning too. We’ll show you how.
What to do
Kōrero with your tamariki about what it’s like when we feel for other people which can sometimes occur when they’ve been hurt and sometimes too when they’re especially excited, or perhaps proud - e.g. they won an award.
Though we don’t always feel the same way they do - kōrero about how else you might feel in these situations e.g. jealous! And that can be okay too - it’s normal sometimes.
What’s important though is that we can recognise how other people might be feeling, because it helps us to empathise, understand and connect.
Because when we can empathise, it means we really care and this helps us to be good friends and look out for each other.
Hand out the My Point of View worksheets and ask tamariki to go through and answer the pātai for the character throughout their day.
Kōrero about the different answers you all came up with - there is no wrong answer because we all can feel differently, even if the same thing happens to us. E.g you (the teacher) might be away tomorrow - for some this will be scary and for others, exciting!
You will probably think of other ways to kōrero about the worksheet and tamariki learning.
To extend this learning…
Take time with picture books to kōrero about how the characters feel and whether that would be the same or different for tamariki?
Kōrero about things that help when we feel these ways.
As well as this when something happens to tamariki and they feel something, offer support and reassurance but also if other tamariki are present maybe ask how they think this person is feeling right now. What could they do that might help?
Encourage tamariki to take this learning home and kōrero with whānau about how they can support those at home when someone feels something. What can tamariki do to help?
Personal health and physical development: A1 - Personal growth and development
Personal health and physical development: A4 - Personal identity
Relationships with other people: C2 - Identity, sensitivity, and respect