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Day 40 - Empathy (creative ideas for home schooling)

For anyone new to this blog, the idea is simple - each day my boys (Joshua - 9 and Archie - 8) choose a stimulus that drives the learning. We hope that you enjoy the blog and can take some inspiration from what we love doing - making learning as engaging as possible!



Today was Empathy Day 2020 and the boys engaged in may online activities exploring empathy through books, illustrations and through rich discussion. A link to the programme can be found here:



  • Playful poetry

Today's English is a lovely game to play with children, helping them connect both with their own lives as well as others in the world.

Firstly, make a list of things you have never done. Try to engage in the wider world, thinking about things other people may have done or may have to face each and every day.

Then, consider the importance of that statement and make a link to something in your own life that you have done. To do this, you need the model:

I have never...

but I have...

Once you get into the flow of the poetry, you will find that the ideas begin to flow. This is the power of the model. A top tip is to get the children to name things as this makes them more personal. E.g. use a poodle rather than dog / rose rather than flower / etc.

The purpose of the task is to get children to connect with their own lives as well as consider the lives of others. Depending on your situation, these may have very different connotations and outcomes.

Here are the boys poems celebrating empathy:


Empathy by Archie

I have never broken my leg,

but I have have fallen off my mountain bike and hurt my knee.

I have never been stung by a wasp,

but I have had a paper cut that made me wince in pain.

I have never been starving,

but I have heard my belly rumble.

I have never been homeless,

but I have camped out under the trees.

I have never been captured,

but I have been tagged in 'Stuck in the Mud.'

I have never been bullied,

but I have heard people say unkind things.

I have never had diabetes,

but I have eaten too many Haribo jellies.

I have never had to drink dirty water,

but I have had mud in my drink...once!

I have never been hit or punched,

but I have kicked a ball in my own face.

I have never been poisoned by a snake,

but I have been bitten by my baby brother.

I have never been shot,

but I have had water pistol fights in the garden.


Empathy by Joshua

I have never gone hungry,

but I have longed for more pudding.

I have never been stung by a jellyfish,

but I have been stung by a sleepy wasp.

I have never lost a parent,

but I have lost Hatchimal shark.

I have never been boiled,

but I have felt the sun's rays.

I have never been bullied,

but I have seen people feeling upset.

I have never had cancer,

but I have had chicken pox.

I have never lost a loved one,

but I have lost my voice.

I have never been without education,

but I have been locked down from school.

I have never gone without clothes,

but I have worn just my pants on the trampoline.


If you are enjoying this blog, please do share it and spread the word. Thank you to all of you who have got in touch and shared some of the outcomes from what you have tried - we love to hear from you.

Do tune in tomorrow where we exploring:


My thanks to Pie Corbett, Julia Strong and the Talk for Writing team for inspiring many of the ideas explored in this blog.

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