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Empathy Busters


45 minutes

Learning Outcomes

Identify and learn how to recognise emotions and that everyone experiences them differently. 

Resources & Preparation Needed

Print out the list of emotions


First Print out the list of emotions and review it with your students. 

Call on students and ask them to point to the face that shows happiness, sadness, etc. Continue until all students who had their hands raised have had a chance, even if it involves repeating emotions.

Ask all students who want to demonstrate an emotion to put their hand up. In rapid succession, instruct students to display physical actions that illustrate each emotion. Jump in and assist with your own modelling as needed.

Now it’s your turn—model one of the emotions that your students haven’t modelled yet, and see if your students can identify what emotion you’re feeling. Ask them what could have happened to you to make you feel that way.

Discuss potential scenarios that may elicit emotions. Say to your students, “Show me what you would look like if you experienced this,” and then present them with the below examples (or come up with your own):

  • You reached out to hug someone who turned away.
  • You won a prize that you weren’t expecting.
  • Your goldfish died.
  • You saw yourself on TV.
  • Your friend just pointed out that you have something stuck in your teeth and it’s been there since breakfast!
  • You found ants all over a treat you had left for later.
  • A person in your class got a toy that you have really wanted for a long time.

Ideas For Reflection

Ask the students who tell their stories to discuss how it felt to see and hear the differences in empathy for each individual. This will help your students to feel and acknowledge the power of empathy and what it can do or how the lack of empathy can hurt someone.

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