Emily’s fifth-grade students in Bahia Vista, California always looked forward to receiving the latest issue of Kind News magazine. But in 2020, things had to be different.
In the spring, school went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the first digital issue of Kind News came out, Emily was committed to ensuring her students would still be able to enjoy the magazine they loved so much. She posted the issue in her Google Classroom along with links to videos on RedRover Reporters, the RedRover YouTube channel for kids made by kids. She also recorded herself reading the articles aloud to support her students who are English language learners. “My students and their families loved the digital edition with my read-aloud recording,” she says. “They enjoyed getting to discuss the articles and questions together!”
Later that year, Emily’s school shifted to a hybrid model, which meant that she would be teaching students both remotely and in-person. More than ever, she wanted to make sure that her students still had access to resources like Kind News that build empathy and support social-emotional learning.
Since she would no longer be teaching all her students at once, Emily created her own “study guides” for the digital January/February 2021 issue of Kind News with questions to accompany the magazine content. Here are some of their responses:
Have you ever helped an animal who was alone? What would you do in this situation?
- “My sister and I helped a cat get out of a small tree. We showed it where to go and what branches to step on so it could get down safely and easily.” – Lucy
- “If I saw an animal that was alone, I would bring it home and feed it, try to find its owner [and] if we couldn’t, we could put it up for adoption.” – Lidia
What did you learn from this issue of Kind News, or what was your favorite part?
- “I learned [from the mice feature article] to be very gentle if I have a mouse as a pet, because they are fragile and they can run very quickly and jump out of your hands.” – Dylan
Emily says, “I had once heard that empathy is not only putting yourself in a being’s place at one single moment, but looking for what they have been though in their entire past and looking ahead for what might be in their future. Kind News helps this message resonate with my students!”
We’re grateful to educators like Emily who are finding creative ways to continue teaching empathy to students, despite the unique challenges of the pandemic.
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