Kindness and Empathy

Illustration Elements

Illustration Éléments

Illustration Sub-competencies


As part of a collaborative inquiry with other teachers, a teacher records her observations of “M”, over several months. The observations focused on kindness and empathy.


Learning Story


I love to watch M as she goes out of her way to help anybody. She shares, cares, and has nice compliments for teachers and peers.

Dec 5

M and two peers are building with waffled blocks, making a couch. Another friend arrives and is upset because M tells her she can’t play. After noticing this child crying, M proceeds to make the “couch” bigger to allow a spot for the upset friend. She says, “There is always room for more friends.”

Jan 16

M and a group of peers were playing with the waffle blocks. The children often have conflicts over the waffle blocks because there is a shortage and they are popular.  After a few minutes of children arguing, crying, shouting and some tug of war, M found a solution, “I have an idea! We can make a walking path for all of us! We can all do it! Everyone walk the same way.””

Feb 7

One child was having a difficult time following directions and transitioning to outside time.

  • M: You can walk outside with me and I will give you my treat.
  • Teacher: M, you don’t have to part with your treat. Your Mom sent it for you.
  • M: She needs it more. She is sad. It will make her be happy.

Feb 21

M draws pictures for the educator almost every day. When she showed the picture below , she said:

  • You have heart clouds.
  • You make me happy.
  • We are both smiling. I make you happy too.

 Pictures for the educator


Mar 4

M is playing with two girls, C, a very shy girl approaches and observes the girls playing. M recognizes she may want to join them.

  • M: You can play with us.
  • N: (another child) No, you can’t.
  • M:  That’s not nice. Yes, she can. She never plays with anyone.
  • N: No!
  • M: I’m playing with her. I like her. Here C, you can hold my special unicorn. Are you ok?”
  • C nods, Yes.
  • N: You can’t play with my toys.
  • M: We should play together.

C leaves the block room. M follows and asks C to play with her in the dress up/kitchen area.  “Let’s take care of my unicorn.” The two girls play together for 20 minutes. M invites another child to join them.

Apr 8

During morning free play B grabs a bunny from N.

M is watching, offers the tearful girl her toy: “Don’t be sad. You can have mine.”

  • N replies “No!“ N throws her toy, and says, “I don’t like B!
  • M: How about I give you a makeover? It will help you feel better.
  • K: Yes, I want one. What’s that?
  • M: We can be happy having a makeover with makeup and play with our eggs.
  • K: We are friends!

Apr 18

M and two boys are looking through their belonging in their cubbies.

  • M: Everybody is different when you laugh at them.
  • A: I don’t cry when people laugh at me.
  • M: I feel sad when people laugh at me when I hurt my finger, that’s not nice.
  • A: I wasn’t laughing at you.
  • M: Don’t trick people. You’re lying. Lying is bad.
  • A: I’m tricking not lying.
  • M: I’m not mad. You just make me sad when you laugh at me.
  • A: Sorry, M!
  • M: It’s ok. You are my friend.

I can be aware of others and my surroundings

I like to be with my family and friends. I can help and be kind. I can tell when someone is sad or angry and try to make them feel better. I am aware that other people can be different from me.


In familiar settings, I can interact with others and my surroundings respectfully.

I can build relationships and work and play cooperatively.  I can participate in activities to care for and improve my social and physical surroundings. I use materials respectfully. I can solve some problems myself and ask for help when I need it. I listen to others’ ideas and concerns.