How do we develop empathy?

We read the story ‘Cleversticks’ by Bernard Ashley, illustrated by Derek Brazell.

This is a story about a little boy, Ling Sung, who hates going to school. There are too many things the other kids can do that he can’t. When he discovers everyone admires his ability to use chopsticks, Ling Sung is empowered.
The illustrations and story encourage the reader to reflect on feelings of helplessness, pride, discouragement and joy. The students retold the story using picture clues. We made a list of the characters in the story and discussed the setting (where the story takes place).
We talked about the beginning, middle and end of the story as well as the problem and the resolution (how the problem was solved). We created a ‘Story Mountain‘ to help us visualise and document our thinking.  
We used a graphic organiser to document key details from the text. 
This story encourages us to think about about how ‘Our choices affect our interactions with others.’ 
To explore this further, we discussed the different characters in the story. We wondered what message the author wanted to convey through this story.

I think the authors message is…

  • … we know that some people know some things and some people know other things. – Kavel
  • … everybody needs to be united. Friendship. Help each other. Learn from other’s strengths. – Sam
  • … do not laugh when someone can’t do something. Be kind. Be caring. – Sky
  • … letting us try things.- Hannah
  • … be helpful. – Miranda
  • … play kindly with friends. – Eunseong
  • … know different feelings and learn things. – Carlotta
  • … if you don’t know something you can keep on practicing and you will get better at it. – Elena
  • … nobody can do everything. – Ryder
  • … some people are good at writing and anyone can help to do writing. – Dohoon
  • … we also need friends. – Stella
  • … work at whatever you want. – Chanwoong
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