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Technology & Character Education: A Lesson in Empathy

Empathy is an important cornerstone in character education; developing empathy can help prevent negative social behaviors such as bullying, spitefulness, and alienation.  It is a key social emotion and when developed brings an awareness of ones own emotions as well as those of others.  Using Apple’s Photo Booth and Pages (or Seenly and Microsoft Word), students can make a “How are you feeling?” poster of emotions.  These posters teach students to recognize what their own emotions look like and help them to recognize them in others. If you don’t have access to built in cameras or web cams, digital cameras can be used in their place.  The completed posters can be used for various character education lessons throughout the year and make for a nice year-long bulletin board in the classroom. The posters are also useful when discussing literary characters and their feelings/emotions, as well as an aid in conflict resolution for younger students.  The Feelings posters are a helpful tool for autistic children as they help them recognize facial expressions and emotions in themselves and others. The lessons in empathy is perfect for kindergarten through sixth grade.  Three templates are included in the lesson k-1 grade, 2-3 grade, and 4-6 grade.  As a computer teacher, I completed this lesson with my students every year from kindergarten-fifth grade.  By the fifth grade, students had a collection of 6 feelings posters that showcased each year of school.  Parents saved these posters as a keepsake. This collection includes a lesson plan, templates, an emotions card game, and suggestions for sharing the template with student computers.  There are two options for download, one for use with Apple’s Pages and PhotoBooth (or digital camera) and one for use with Microsoft Word and Seenly (or digital camera).  The Pages option is for use with Macintosh only.  The Microsoft Word option is for use with Mac or PC. In this lesson students will practice using text boxes, drag and drop, mouse manipulation, inserting images, and resizing.  Click here to find the Feelings Poster Lesson in Empathy in the iLearn Technology store. Feelings Poster: A lesson in EmpathyLesson plan, Pages or Word templates, and game cards to create a How are You Feeling Today poster using student pictures. Students use technology to express emotions and learn empathy. Grades: k-6 Requirements: Pages '08 (or newer) OR Microsoft Word, web cam OR digital camera. Pages templates only work on Apple computers. Microsoft Word template works on Apple or PC. Template Version : PagesWord Price: $.99

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We Give Books: Read digital picture books online for free

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 09-01-2012

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What it is: We Give Books is a fantastic initiative from Pearson.  Here, you will find award winning digital picture books for students through age ten.   There is a mix of fiction and non-fiction, a variety of authors, and a balance of read-aloud books and independent readers.  New books are added every month along with special, seasonal books.  Now any student with internet access also has access to high-quality picture books!  Even better? The more books you read, the more books that are made available for everyone.  Choose a book to read, choose a literacy partner campaign to support through your reading, and the more that you read, the more books that are shared with those that need them.  Way cool! The site reminds me of Lookybook (which is sadly no more).  I’m happy to *finally* see another option!
How to integrate We Give Books into the classroom: We Give Books instantly increases your classroom library and puts high-quality books within reach for children everywhere.  We Give Books makes an excellent companion to the interactive whiteboard or projector-connected classroom computer for a class read along.  Pull up a story and read the book chorally, ask students to take turns reading, or simply follow along.  Everyone can see the pictures and words!  This is a great resource for practicing reading strategies together as a class.
We Give Books makes a wonderful reading station on classroom computers.  Students can access wonderful stories any time through We Give Books.  For those students that struggle with indpendent reading (or are emergent readers) there is a read-along option on some of the stories.  Students can follow along with the reading building fluency, flow and vocabulary.
If you are a primary or elementary teacher, this is a must-add link to your classroom website or blog.  Be sure to share the site with families so that students can access the same wonderful library of books from home.  Students (and teachers) can create their own library where they keep the books they have read (or enjoy reading).  To add a book to a library, you must be a member of We Give Books- no problem, it is quick and free to become a member!
Tips:  Students can use the word cloud on the right side of the We Give Books page to find books about their favorite subjects.  Thank you to @Shannonmmiller for pinning We Give Books on Pinterest, it is a great find!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using We Give Books in  your classroom!

Comments (3)

In 2nd grade we are focusing on comparing non-fiction texts. We read aloud The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind and compared it to Abe Lincoln the Boy Who Loved Books. Both stories are inspiring tales of learners unable to attend school but become motivated life-long learners, teaching themselves from books.

[…] We Give Books is another outstanding place to find free […]

I would like to use the resources with my Grade 4 class!

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