Davenport Community School District Counseling Program Empathy Lesson: Torn Heart Grade-1 Personal/Social Domain Standard A

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Davenport Community School District Counseling Program

Empathy Lesson: Torn Heart


Personal/Social Domain Standard A:

Students will acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and interpersonal skills to help them understand and respect self and others.

Competencies: A1 Students will acquire and apply self-knowledge

A1.5 Identify and express feelings

A1.6 Distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior

A1.8 Understand the need for self-control and how to practice it

A2 Acquire Interpersonal skills

A2.6 Use effective communication skills

Objectives: Students will:

  • To develop empathy

  • Build awareness how actions affect others

  • Create common language around put-ups and put-downs

  • Develop students’ commitment to positive interactions with others


Large paper heart with words “I Am Important” on it

Copy of Torn Heart story.

  1. Ask students to raise hands and answer question: Has anyone ever said something that made you feel bad?

Ask: What did that feel like? How did that affect your day?

  1. Counselor says: Today I am going to read you a story with put-ups and put-downs in it. When I read this story, if you hear a put-up, then give me a “thumbs up”. And if you hear put-down, give me “thumbs down”

When you give me a thumbs-down, I am going to put a wrinkle in the paper.

Read story.

  1. After story finished ask: Did Pedro have more put-ups? Or downs?

What kind of day do you think he had?

How would that day look if he had that many put-ups instead?

4. Redo the story: Take the put-downs and turn them into put-ups.

The Torn Heart

One Tuesday morning, when the alarm clock rang, Pedro did not get out of bed. Ten minutes later, his mother opened the door to his room. “Come on,” she said. “You’ll be late for school again. You’re a lazy kid.” (Wrinkle)“But, Mama, I’m sick,” Pedro said.
Why do you always act like a baby?” (Wrinkle) Pedro’s mother said. “You’re always sick on gym day. Just get up and get ready. Your brother’s already dressed.” (Wrinkle)
Pedro quickly put on his clothes and went to the kitchen to get something to eat. His older brother, Carlos, had just finished. “I’m leaving, Mama,” Carlos said.

You wait for Pedro,” their mother said.

That loser (Wrinkle) is always late,” Carlos said. “I don’t want to miss the bus.”
The boys made it to the bus just in time, with Pedro following behind his older brother. But as the doors of the bus closed and it started rolling, Pedro remembered he had left his homework in his bedroom.
Pedro asked the bus driver if he would wait while he went back to get his homework. “What are you, kid, a moron? (Wrinkle) This isn’t a taxi. Anyway, that’s what you get for being late.” (Wrinkle)
When Pedro got to school, he told his teacher that he had left his homework at home. She said, “That’s the fourth time this month, Pedro. Have you really been doing your work? I’m beginning to think you’re lying. (Wrinkle) I’m afraid I’m going to have to talk to your parents about this.”
Pedro liked to play sports, but he hated gym class, where he was the smallest of all the boys. That day at gym, they were supposed to play basketball, which was Pedro’s very worst sport of all. The teacher asked the kids to divide themselves into two teams, the Lions and the Tigers. Within a few minutes, there were ten boys on each team, with only Pedro left. (Wrinkle)
The captain of the Lions team said: “We don’t want him-he’s no good.” (Wrinkle)
He’s no Tiger. He’s more like a scaredy cat,” (Wrinkle) said the captain of the Tigers. And the other boys laughed. (Wrinkle)

Finally the teacher assigned Pedro to a team, the Lions. But he sat on the bench for the whole time because the captain never put him in the game. (Wrinkle)

That day after school, Pedro’s brother, Carlos, was playing soccer with his friends in the field near their house. Pedro was much better at soccer than at basketball. Soccer was his favorite sport. So Pedro asked Carlos if he could play, too. “No way,” Carlos said. “You’d ruin the game.” (Wrinkle)
Their mother heard this and said: “You should let your brother play with you, Carlos.”“But, Mama, he’s too slow,” (Wrinkle) Carlos said. “And he always gets in the way.” (Wrinkle)
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