At the end of the fourth grade weather lab, I wanted to do a brief lesson about empathy which is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. I recently heard on a podcast that empathy is often the missing piece from science and engineering classrooms, while the ultimate goal of these disciplines is to help others or the environment. I explained to my students that I have greater empathy for my mom’s arthritis, since I have fractured my wrist. I wanted them to understand how difficult it is to function with only one hand, so I set-up some tasks for them to complete with their non-dominate hand. As they struggled with these everyday chores, they became innovative, and the struggle became productive.
Write Merry Christmas, fold the paper, and put the paper in an envelope.
Tie a ribbon around the box and tie a bow.
Open a water bottle and take off the wrapper around a plastic fork.
Tear off four pieces of tape.
Cut out a Christmas tree.