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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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Send Your Name to Mars

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 30-03-2009

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What it is:  This is your chance to send your students to Mars!  Okay, maybe not literally but you can send their names to Mars.  NASA has done this before, you may have sent your names to the moon in the past.  Now you and your students have the opportunity to send their names to Mars by way of a microchip on the Mars Science Laboratory rover heading to Mars in 2011.

How to integrate Send Your Name to Mars into the classroom:  This is a great way to get your students excited about a space unit!  Students can start the space unit by sending their name in to be put on the microchip going to Mars and print out the “official” certificate.   Follow up this activity by exploring the NASA website or NASA Kids to learn more about the Mars Science Laboratory rover and the mission.  If you don’t have access to a computer for each student, you could send your class name to Mars and explore the NASA site as a class using a projector.  As an extension activity, you can have students write about what they think it would be like to go to Mars.


Tips:  Take a look at the participation map, it is interesting to see who is going to Mars!


Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Send Your Name to Mars in your classroom.

Comments (1)

[…] I have to admit I’ve had students in my classes who I would occasionally like to send to Mars, but NASA has a neat activity where you really can send them there! As NASA’s site says “This is your chance to go to Mars! Fill in your information below and your name will be included with others on a microchip on the Mars Science Laboratory rover heading to Mars in 2011!”  Students can then print-out the official certificate, and explore the site to learn more about the Mars Mission (thanks to iLearn Technology for the tip). […]

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