History comes alive through program at Montgomery elementary school | MyCentralJersey.com

April 6, 2010
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Another great use of empathy in the classroom.

History is an excellent medium for developing empathy.  And these New Jersey elementary students have taken it to the next level.

In the first part of the project they research historical figures.  They look into their early life and careers, following the figures throughout all of their contributions to society.  Seems standard enough.

But then they upgrade that lesson to incorporate Dan Pink’s aptitude of empathy from AWNM.

Students team up with a partner and write anonymous pen pal letters to each other, from the perspective of their historical figure!

What a great idea.  And what an easy way to develop empathy.  You could take any small research project and add a simple upgrade to enhance empathy.  And think about the high-level thinking skills that are required to write from another person’s perspective.  Amazing.

Even though this example is from an elementary school, I plan on using something similar with my high school kids.  There are any number of opportunities to enhance empathy in American History.  I can’t wait to take advantage of a few of them.

History comes alive through program at Montgomery elementary school | mycentraljersey.com | MyCentralJersey.com.

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