Use Character Sketches To Develop Empathy
Updated: Feb 17
Neuroscientists have discovered that reading fiction activates the same part of the brain as real life experience. This means that when kids are engaged in reading a story, their brains live vicariously through the characters, improving their ability to understand what other people are thinking, feeling and doing (Theory of Mind).
Using the Happy Hunting Character Sketch encourages kids to become more active readers by examining a character of their choice more closely. This closer more intentional look leads them to see things from another being’s point of view, in turn developing empathy and building social skills.
Choose, describe, recount and share!
First, kids choose one of four characters: the main character, Liza; one of her friends, Hazel or Omar; or her dog, Shed. Once they decide who they will focus their sketch on, kids describe the character in 5 words, briefly recount what happens to the character in the story and share what they like most about the character.
To learn more about the Happy Hunting Book and how reading fiction can increase empathy check out our links.
PDF of the Happy Hunting Book