The Compassion Project - Elementary Empathy Curriculum

Compassion lesson plans and kindness activities for elementary school students


  • Understanding Compassion
  • Teaching Empathy Activities
  • Self Compassion
  • Practicing Compassion
  • Mistakes & Self-Care
  • Mindfulness


One of EVERFI’s Social Emotional Learning training courses, The Compassion Project, has been helping educators teach elementary school students the complex but critical skill of compassion since 2018.

Compassion is an important social-emotional skill that begins to develop in early childhood and is essential for lifelong health and success. Learning compassion increases a student's sense of wellbeing and improves the learning environment for all learners. By developing empathy in children, educators lay the groundwork for long-term understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion in the classroom and in life. Compassion education is important because it helps to build key social-emotional learning competencies, such as:

  • development of the understanding of self
  • social awareness, and
  • relationship skills

With interactive online activities and robust offline lesson plans, The Compassion Project provides invaluable resources for teaching empathy in the classroom.

What’s included in this compassion course?

The compassion project consists of six lessons, three geared towards lower elementary school students (2nd-4th graders) and three geared towards upper students (4th-6th graders).

The Lower Elementary Compassion Course has three online lessons; Compassion Playground, EmpathEyes, and Mindful Maze.

The Upper Elementary Compassion Course also has three online lessons; Compassion & Empathy, Mistakes & Self-Care, Emotions & Mindfulness.

You can explore all of the compassion lessons below in detail.

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GRADE LEVEL:Two Courses: Grades 2-4 and 4-6
BEST FIT:Advisory/Homeroom
NUMBER OF LESSONS:Total of 18 Offline and 6 Digital Activities
TIME PER LESSON:10-30 Minutes
STANDARDS:Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts (CCSS - ELA), Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Preview the Lessons - Lower Elementary Course (2nd-4th)

Lesson 1

Compassion Playground

Before students can understand how to act more compassionately, they must first develop a foundational understanding of the concept. In this lesson, compassion is taught in context so that young learners are able to relate it to their own personal experiences.

Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Offline Lessons

Preview the Lessons - Upper Elementary Course (4th-6th)

Now Available!

Lesson 1

Compassion & Empathy

In this lesson, students are introduced to definitions and depictions of compassion and related concepts, emphasizing that compassion can be a learned behavior. Students are encouraged to observe instances of compassion in their school and home lives.

Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Offline Lessons

Hear Why Teachers Love The Compassion Project

“I feel like The Compassion Project is very helpful for my students. I used the program for an intervention group that is currently working on social skills. The lesson was very engaging and allowed for opportunities for my students to role play.”

Gwen Brookshire

Elementary Teacher

Adairsville, GA

“In our school, we learn about "star qualities" (kindness, empathy, grit, respect, mindfulness, etc), and these lessons were a fun way to incorporate these qualities into our curriculum! I believe these strategies will help them so much in their everyday lives and learning to deal with the challenges they may encounter.”

Mrs. Germundson

Elementary Teacher

Glenwood, MN

“I love these lessons! They are engaging, interesting, and they're packed full of wonderfully specific information and strategies kids can use!”

Mrs. Premo

Elementary Teacher

Wrightwood, CA

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