Thursday, October 21, 2010

Teaching Empathy

I have found books such a great way to soften hearts and break down walls. I am reading a book (a Texas Bluebonnet Nominee) called Umbrella Summer. In it, a young girl is dealing with life -- a family in grief, more specifically.

It is a beautifully written book in that it makes deep discussions possible.

Even my rowdiest boy sits quietly as I read, hanging on what is going on. They gasp, they infer, they empathize.

Two other books I love for this purpose (PLUS they are just great books) are Mick Harte was Here (young boy killed because he fell off his bike and wasn't wearing a helmet - talk about a lesson to teach kids), and Love that Dog by Sharon Creech (the loss of a beloved pet).

They make me cry, and I like showing them how books affect me. I am not putting on a show, and they know it -- and they see that it is good to let books into your heart.

That's the depth I want and feel.

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