4th Grade Compassion Mini-Course

At DAA, one of our core values is empathy and caring. That goes hand in hand with one of our Habits of Character, Compassion. We are lucky enough to have an incredible community that wholeheartedly supports dedication to these values. In Fourth grade, we are taking it a step further. As the oldest crew in the school, the students take it on as their responsibility to be leaders in everything they do. Compassion is no exception.

We’ve been spending the first few weeks of school working with our school social worker, Mr. B, taking a mini-course on compassion. In our course we’ve been learning about how to show compassion, how to build compassion between others, and what compassion looks through our everyday actions. For some students, talking about emotions and understanding another person’s feelings was incredibly difficult. It’s not easy to understand and accept the emotions of another, even as an adult. So working to build this kind of compassion in a classroom of 4th graders was not an easy task.

The first few days of the course consisted of some students ready to share while others looked around uncomfortable, laughing at the very real feelings of their crew members. Through different activities the crew began to build its compassion with each other. They built a lego tower where each student got to add a lego piece on for each compassionate action they did. The students shared tough emotions they were feeling so they could understand each other better. They built methods for solving conflicts peacefully. But most importantly the 4th grade worked together to begin understanding what true compassion means - showing kindness, care, and understanding in our everyday actions.