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Activity Plan: Compassion in the Classroom

As we go further into 2021, TNL want to help encourage healthier choices and attitudes in your Early Years classes, to instil good habits early and start the year right!

Here’s a conversation-led activity to help introduce the concept of compassion to your Early Years, through a role-playing game. It is best suited to older children in smaller groups.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:

Preparing the activity:

  1. Schedule the activity for a quieter part of the day, when the children are likely to be calmer and more reflective.

Doing the activity:

Ask the children to think about times they have needed help from an adult. Did they have homework they took home and needed to ask a parent/carer to help them? Maybe they hurt themselves playing and needed an adult to administer first aid. Or perhaps they were scared by a bad dream and went to their guardian for comfort. How did the adult react? Were they helpful or comforting to the child (hopefully yes!)?

Ask the children to think about how they would feel if they had not received help in those moments. Would they feel good or feel bad?

Ask the children for volunteers for role-playing, or pick children yourself (making sure everyone has a go). You will need one child to be the person needing help and another child giving help.

Some scenarios to try (but feel free to think of your own!):

  • A child is trying to carry something but it is too heavy for them
  • A child has lost their coat and needs help finding it
  • A child has fallen over and cut their knee
  • A child is sad because their favourite toy has broken
Photo by Pexels

Encourage the children to act in a friendly and helpful way - helping with the other child’s problem or just being comforting (saying it’s ok or giving them a hug). Discuss why it is important to help and look after each other. What would happen if we didn’t help, and instead were all unkind to other people? Would that be good or bad? When we are in need, it makes us feel better when someone is nice to us, so we should also be nice to others.

Tracking the activity:

30-50 months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Managing feelings and behaviour: “Aware of own feelings, and knows that some actions and words can hurt others’ feelings.; Begins to accept the needs of others and can take turns and share resources, sometimes with support from others.”

Communication and Language: Understanding: “Beginning to understand ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions.”

Expressive arts and design: Being imaginative: “Engages in imaginative role-play based on own first-hand experiences.”

40-60+months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Managing feelings and behaviour: “Understands that own actions affect other people, for example, becomes upset or tries to comfort another child when they realise they have upset them.”

Communication and Language: Understanding: “Able to follow a story without pictures or props.; Listens and responds to ideas expressed by others in conversation or discussion.”

Expressive arts and design: Being imaginative: “Plays cooperatively as part of a group to develop and act out a narrative.”