Park Terrace students learn empathy with creative help from CLIMB Theatre
Empathy was the word of the day for Park Terrace Elementary students on October 25, as actor-educators from CLIMB Theatre went from classroom to classroom leading students through a series of activities, scenes, and stories around the topic of empathy.
The school planned the event to coincide with National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month Awareness Month and as a part of its International Peace Site goal of promoting respect for self and others.
At Park Terrace, CLIMB (Creative Learning Ideas for Mind and Body) actor-educators performed one presentation for K-2 classrooms that featured Edmond the Elephant who has troubles making friends at school, and one another for grade 3 classrooms, employing critical thinking skills, that featuring Devonte who gets laughed at after spilling pudding on himself on picture day.
Each presentation defined the word empathy and portrayed examples of school situations where empathy is and is not used. Students engaged in activities about reading body language and imagining the feelings of others, and created their own short scenes depicting situations demonstrating acts of kindness and empathy.
In one class, students acted out a situation they created using the three main points -- body language, imagining how others feel, and being kind – that they learned from CLIMB: Two girls witness a boy trip and fall on the playground. Seeing that he was sad, and knowing that they don’t like feeling sad themselves, they help him up and offer to bring him to the school nurse.
Students’ reactions to CLIMB’s interactive approach to the topic of empathy was enthusiastically received. The result should be even more kindness shown in the halls, classrooms, and playgrounds of Park Terrace.