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Small Group Lesson Plan

Name of Group: Students will choose the name of the group during the first session.

Focus of Group: This group is based on the anecdotal concerns of the school counselor that some students in the
school do not act in a kind way towards other students. Based on this, the group will be aim to help students who
are identified as struggling with this issue to better understand empathy and the importance and impact of behaving
in a kind way towards their classmates and peers.

Number of students: Six to eight

Grade Level:
Fourth and Fifth

Adult Leader: School Counselor

Number of Sessions: One session per week, during lunch period, for four consecutive weeks.

ASCA Domain: Social/Emotional Development

ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors:

M1 (Belief in development of whole self, including a healthy balance of mental, social/emotional
and physical well-being)
M3 (Sense of belonging in the school environment).

B-LS 1 (Demonstrate critical-thinking skills to make informed decisions)
B-SMS 2 (Demonstrate self-discipline and self-control)
B-SS 2 (Create positive and supportive relationships with other students)
B-SS 4 (Demonstrate empathy)

Session One: For the first group session, the following activities will take place:

1. The group topic will be introduced

2. The pre-test will be administered
3. The group will name itself
4. Group norms will be developed (confidentiality, kindness to each other)
5. Group goals will be established
6. Finish the group by practicing giving and receiving compliments

Session Two: What is empathy?

1. Review with the group the norms and goals that were established the previous week.
2. Discuss how the understand empathy and kindness.
3. Utilize the “Empathy in a Shoebox” empathy lesson
This activity utilizes the shoes of different people to and written scenarios pasted inside
the shoe boxes to help students imagine what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes. The
conversations between students will help them discover that their peers are experiencing
many different emotions throughout the school day

Session Three: You Rock!

1. Review the group norms and goals.

2. Review the “Empathy in a Shoebox” activity
3. Begin the lesson by reading the book “Each Kindness,” by Jacquline Woodson. The book
addresses what it means to be kind, what it means to be bullied, and what an impact
kindness has on everyone. To visual demonstrate the larger effects of kindness on all
people, each student will take a rock with the word “you” written on it and drop it into
the bowl of water. The ripples that the rock creates in the bowl of water demonstrate how
acts of kindness create ripple effects for the people that they impact.

Session Four: Wrap up

1. Review the group norms and goals.

2. Watch the Mark Ruffalo/Sesame Street empathy video.
3. Discuss how the video and the other activities completed in the group have informed how
we understand kindness and empathy.
4. Discuss what how it feels for the group to be ending and what each member of the group
will take away from the experience.
5. Administer the post-test.

Plan for Evaluation

Process Data: Six to eight students, identified by counselor or teachers as having issues with
being kind to others.

Perception Data: Pre and post-test assessments will be used at the first and last session to
understand how students views of empathy and kindness have changed.

Students will be encouraged to think critically about how their actions and behaviors towards
their peers impact how their peers feel. They will also be asked if they feel that their personal
behaviors will change following completion of the group.

Upon completing the four week group, 100% of participants will be able to understand how their
actions, positive and negative, impact other students, and how to think about how other students
feel when they have positive or negative interactions with peers.

Outcome Data: Reduction in the number of behavior referrals made to the counseling office.
Follow up: School Counselor will check in with students who have participated in the group, as well as check in
with referring teacher as appropriate.