Blog: Creating the Space for Conversations

Creating the Space for Conversations With Young People About Compassion for Others

by Abby Power Can we have an open dialogue with our children and students about what is happening in the world today? I say yes! Children have an extraordinary capacity for critical thinking when given the opportunity to practice it. I have found that there are three main areas that help in creating a space…

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Blog Windows and Mirrors

Windows and Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors: Ensuring Students See Themselves and Others in Literature

by Cathy Potter In 1990, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop published an essay about the importance of providing young readers with diverse books that reflect the “multicultural nature of the world” in which we live. In the essay, Dr. Bishop coined the phrase “Windows, Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors” to explain how children see themselves in…

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Blog: Cultivating header

9 Strategies for Cultivating Empathy and Compassion in Your Classroom

by Marsha Rakestraw To create a just, compassionate, sustainable world for all – and to help our students become solutionaries — it’s vital that we help them (and ourselves) build empathy and compassion for people, animals, and the earth. We humans are wired to care about those with whom we have close relationships (our family,…

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Embracing Compassion Toward All: An Interview With Author Mark Hawthorne

Mark Hawthorne is an activist and the author of three books on animal rights and social justice: A Vegan Ethic: Embracing A Life Of Compassion Toward All; Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering; and Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism, which empowers people around the world to get active…

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sharing

12 Children’s Picture Books About Sharing

One of the first lessons we’re taught as young children is about the importance of sharing. Yet examine our actions as adults—the ways we treat each other, nonhuman animals, and the earth—and it may seem like we’ve forgotten how vital sharing is. An important part of raising compassionate, conscientious citizens is introducing humane values such…

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13 Children’s Picture Books Whose Characters Have Special Needs

Occasionally the media focuses on those with particular challenges, such as animals with special needs and people whose likenesses – in the form of unique mannequins – shed light on the meaning of “perfect.” But the truth is, positive depictions in the public sphere of people and nonhuman animals who have special needs are not…

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Resources: Whom do you Pet?

Whom Do You Pet & Whom Do You Eat?

What are our relationships with different kinds of animals, and why do those relationships exist? Lead students in an activity which explores why we treat different types of animals differently, and how we can  learn to view them with different eyes. Recommended for grades 5 and up. Time: 60 minutes   Common Core Standards for…

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Three baby chicks huddled together

A Moment in Your Shoes

How will students feel spending a moment in the shoes of a battery hen or a child slave? Use this lively and thought- provoking activity to introduce human and animal issues and the connections between them. Recommended for grades 6 and up. Time: 45 minutes to several days   Common Core Standards for this activity…

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Resources: Ethical Dilemmas

Ethical Dilemmas

Help students think deeply and critically about what it means to be our best selves and about the ethical quandaries between balancing personal desires with kindness toward others by engaging them in an exploration of personal and global ethical scenarios. Recommended for grades 3 through 8. Time: 60 minutes   Common Core Standards for this…

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Resources: Dare to be different

Dare to Be Different

What is prejudice? Why do some people judge others because of their differences? How can we make positive choices that reflect understanding, acceptance, and tolerance? Students learn about these issues and have a chance to “dare to be different” by altering their appearance for a day. Recommended for grades 3-5. Time: 1-2 days   Common…

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