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Building Empathy: Poetry and Active Listening

This seminar invites students to explore the concept of empathy and begin to understand the power empathy has to bring peace and positive change to human dynamics. Role-playing exercises develop skills in active listening and encourage students to carefully observe body language. Poetry is used as a means of personal expression, allowing students to share their stories and have a voice while being listened to.  Time is reserved for thoughtful reflection, as students consider what empathy feels like, and how empathy can become more present in thoughts and actions.

Faculty: Cheri Buxman - Fine Arts

Dates Offered

November 30, 2018

Explore More

Interested in exploring this topic more deeply?

  • Go to: This two-minute animated video, Brene Brown on Empathy, provides a crystal clear illustration of empathy.

  • Documentary: Won't You Be My Neighbor? PG-13. Rated 99% by Rotten Tomatoes, this documentary about Mister Fred Rogers takes us “into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination.” In theatres now. Available for streaming September 4, 2018

  • Great books: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee, and The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis all include characters learning about and acting with compassion.

Why Study Empathy?

Middle school students often struggle within social relationships because they underuse listening skills. Strong active listening enables students to cultivate stronger connection with teachers, parents, and peer. Listening skills also support academic pursuits that involve oral and written communication.