Resources for educators
Below you’ll find ideas for teaching compassion and building empathy across the curriculum, in school and in the community.
We want to add your ideas and resources, too! Please take a moment to tell us about your favorite books, curricula, resources, and outside organizations that others should know about.
Resources sorted by theme:
Mindfulness – Focusing attention on the present moment without judgment, increasing awareness of one’s thoughts, relationships, and external circumstances
Andrea Saveri (andreasaveri.com) Shares insights about emerging trends and offers strategies to support organizations identifying their unique gifts while adapting to a changing world.
Communication Options (comoptions.com) Offers mindfulness-based communication and critical thinking skills training to organizations and individuals.
The Garrison Institute (garrisoninstitute.org) Trains teachers in evidence-based contemplative methods, helping improve student academic performance, reduce teacher burnout, and create healthy school environments.
Inner Kids (innerkids.org) Provides facilitators to work in schools to teach mindfulness to children and teens.
Mindful Schools (mindfulschools.org) Trains teachers and offers in-class instruction in mindfulness, a scientifically proven technique that teaches concentration, attention, conflict resolution, and empathy.
Mindfulness Without Borders (mindfulnesswithoutborders.org) Offers programs to help students identify and manage their emotions and cope with stress, and helps educators promote emotional balance and positive behavior in the classroom.
MindUP (thehawnfoundation.org/mindup) Trains educators to create supportive learning and social environments that effectively address children’s mental and physical well-being while nurturing the growth of creative, reflective habits of mind.
Project Happiness (projecthappiness.com) Provides happiness curriculum: a 195-page student handbook for kids by kids, as well as a facilitator’s guide and film.
SMART (Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques in Education) (smart-in-education.org) Provides teachers with training in mindfulness, relaxation, and emotion regulation, with the aim of increasing empathy, acceptance, and compassion in their classrooms and their personal lives.
Empathy – Understanding and sharing another’s thoughts and feelings.
Caring School Community (devstu.org/caring-school-community) Teaches social skills to children and increases their responsibility, helpfulness, and respect toward others in order to build strong community in classrooms.
No Bully (nobully.com) Partners with schools and school districts to help them implement the key building blocks to create bully-free learning communities. Empathy-based program.
Peaceabilities (peace.byu.edu) Provides teaching materials for increasing children’s capacities for peaceful relationships by cultivating their skills of empathy and compassion.
Roots of Empathy (rootsofempathy.org) Through classroom visits by a trained facilitator, mother and infant, children learn to identify and reflect upon their thoughts and feelings and those of others.
Second Step (cfchildrenorg/programs/ssp) Provides curricula that foster social-emotional development and prevents violence and bullying among children.
Steve Seskin (steveseskin.com/news) Works with schools via assemblies, children’s books, and songwriting workshops to bring kindness and empathy into the school culture.
Toolbox by Dovetail Learning (dovetaillearning.org/dovetail) Supports children to manage their own emotional, social, and academic success by giving them tools that empower them, such as self-calming, listening, courage, and empathy.
Awe – Experiencing a reverence for discovery and for that which transcends our understanding of the world.
Kids Serve (kidserve.com) Guides Bay Area youth through the process of creating public art in their communities.
NASA (apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html) Features a different photo of the universe per day, along with a brief explanation by a professional astronomer.
Nature Bridge (naturebridge.org) Introduces students to national parks through field science education programs for schools and youth leadership programs.
River of Words (riverofwords.org) Provides children and their teachers with innovative and effective tools for sparking creativity and learning about the natural world.
Stepping Stones Project (steppingstonesproject.org) Creates meaningful rites of passage for youth from various backgrounds as they transition from childhood towards adulthood, forging connections to the community and natural environment.
Common Humanity – Embracing our common humanity: recognizing our shared human experience, while appreciating differences and diversity.
Facing History and Ourselves (facinghistory.org) Provides publications, lesson plans, videos, and library resources to help teachers link past history to moral choices today.
Growing Up Global (growingupglobal.net) Offers ideas, activities and a book to expose schools and “kids of all ages” to the world beyond their border.
The Jigsaw Classroom (jigsaw.org) Provides a step-by-step cooperative learning model for teaching that encourages listening, cooperation, and empathy among students and helps improve intergroup relations in the classroom.
The Mosaic Project (mosaicproject.org) Helps children develop an awareness of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination, while building respect for others, teamwork, cooperation, communication, and conflict resolution.
Ripple Effects (rippleeffects.com) Provides self-directed, researched-base software to positively change behavior and improve academic achievement.
Six Billion Others (6milliardsdautres.org) Takes aerial photos of the planet, as well as filmed interviews with inhabitants from around the world to bring a universal “big picture” of the earth and humanity into focus.
Teaching Tolerance (tolerance.org) Offers free lesson plans, linked to school standards, on ways to reduce prejudice and improve intergroup relations.
A World of Difference Institute (adl.org/education/edu_awod/default.asp) Provides lesson plans and resources that help K–12 educators integrate multicultural, anti-bias, and social justice themes into their curricula.
Understanding Prejudice (understandingprejudice.org) Offers educational resources and information on prejudice, discrimination, multiculturalism, and diversity, with the ultimate goal of reducing the level of intolerance and bias in contemporary society.
Gratitude – Recognizing the many gifts we receive in life, and appreciating the sources of these gifts.
Gratefulness.org (gratefulness.org) Offers education and support for practicing grateful living as a global ethic.
Laboratory for Gratitude in Youth (people.hofstra.edu/Jeffrey_J_Froh) Provides a free, research-based curriculum for teaching gratitude to children.
The Ojai Foundation (ojaifoundation.org) Helps communities and schools around the world learn how to listen and speak from the heart, honor life’s passages, and appreciate our connection with nature.
Altruism – Giving and acting in ways that enhance the welfare of others.
Charity Focus (charityfocus.org/new) Inspires people to be generous via insightful stories, ideas, and actions that Charity Focus emails daily.
The Giraffe Project (giraffe.org) Offers tested lesson plans to help schools foster courageous compassion, active citizenship, and academic success.
Green Schools Initiative (greenschools.net) Works to catalyze and support “green” actions by kids, teachers, parents, and policy makers to eliminate toxins, use resources sustainably, create green spaces and buildings, serve healthy food, and teach environmental stewardship. Online toolkit can help parents start a project at their school.
Heroic Imagination Project (heroicimagination.org) Provides videos, text, study guides, and in-depth lesson plans to teachers that help students learn to confront such behaviors as bullying, prejudice, social isolation, and passive indifference.
My Hero (myhero.com/myhero/go/theteachersroom) Uses multimedia tools to celebrate the best of humanity and empower young people to realize their own potential to effect positive change in the world. Website offers resources to help teachers incorporate hero stories into their lessons.
National Youth Leadership Council (nylc.org) Redefines the roles of young people in society through service learning. Encourages critical thinking about societal issues combined with youth leadership and action, and helps young people achieve academic success by providing tools that empower them, such as self-calming, listening, courage, and empathy.
Peace First (peacefirst.org/site) Works with schools to teach SEL skills to kids and to engage them in solving problems in their communities. Currently serving schools in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York City.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (randomactsofkindness.org) Provides ideas, stories, and resources for educators and others who want to inspire the practice of kindness.
Roots and Shoots (rootsandshoots.org) Provides resources to help teachers engage and inspire youth through community service and service learning.
Youth Venture (genv.net) inspires and invests in teams of young people to design and launch their own lasting social ventures.
YouthGive (youthgive.org) Helps to grow the next generation of givers and global citizens, encouraging people of all ages to practice philanthropy.