I am a huge fan of using books to help develop emotional awareness and empathy in children so was thrilled to be invited to celebrate one of the amazing titles from this year’s Empathy Lab #ReadForEmpathy collection.
This year, Empathy Day is being celebrated on Thursday 8th June. Empathy Lab’s aim to is harness the power of books to continue to grow their powerful book-based empathy movement. They want to help children develop the skill of empathy and put it into action.
‘Mouse has never had a friend quite like Pig. Pig is so incredibly kind, endlessly thoughtful and fabulously fun, but he also has a big secret… he’s a tremendous worrier!
When Pig gets the brilliant idea to throw a party for Mouse and their friends, he can’t help but think of everything that could possibly go wrong. After all, what if a lion eats all the invitations? What if nobody comes? Or worse, what if everyone comes and has an awful time?’
I work in a specialist provision where we follow a therapeutic curriculum with the aim of helping children develop the skills and sense of self-worth they need to be successful in their mainstream schools. With that goal in mind, a lot of time is spent exploring different emotions and developing empathy for others.
Unfortunately, many of our children suffer from anxiety which is often expressed in ways which can be difficult for schools to manage if they don’t understand it. I used ‘What If, Pig?’ with the children to explore the feeling of anxiety, why we have it, and how we can help manage it.
Discussing Pig’s worries opened up an interesting conversation about how Pig tried to help manage his worries and what other strategies he could have used. This quite naturally led to a conversation about what we were worried about and what helped us.
We then all made our very own What If? Pigs, sharing our worries and strategies to help manage the feelings which accompanied them:
What would be on your Pig? How are you going to join the empathy revolution this year?