Unexpected Connections: Detail and Empathy

Lesson 2— Unexpected Connections: Detail and Empathy


OBJECTIVE: Students will demonstrate their understanding of the connection between detail and empathy by contextualizing the evidence of the concepts from a movie character.


2.Photos for PICTURE THIS Assignment


Hook: Students will form a circle to participate in an activity called “Circle Quote.” There will be a line, for example, something simple like “Hello.” Each student will say the line, but must do it differently than the students before them.


Discussion: What did students do to make their delivery different from everyone else, and how did you interpret it? Also, what makes a character unique?


Instruction: Write EMPATHY on the board. Discuss what empathy means and how it differs from sympathy. Empathy is a connection on an emotional level through personal experience. There is more detail in empathy than sympathy; I feel WITH you versus I feel FOR you.


Continued Discussion: How often do we say something and not mean it? For example, when you see someone in the hall that you really don’t like, but you smile and say “hello” anyways.


Another point—Detail helps give empathy power. If a character is very detailed and honest with the performance, the audience can better connect and empathize with the character.


Assessment: On paper (about ½ page) students will identify the evidence of detail and empathy within a recent movie character they have seen. It can be any movie, but they must put forth effort and justify their explanations. Answer the questions—how are they giving detail to their performance? Are you able to empathize with them? What makes them relatable?


Introduce assignment by showing a picture. Ask– what may be going on in the photo? What relationships do you think these people have? Relate to students how the discussion that just took place could take the form of a narrative.


Their assignment is to “Picture This:” students will write a narrative based on a picture they are given in class. Their narrative will be from the perspective of someone in the photo, and they will present their work in character class. This assignment can be read from paper for their presentation (2-4 minutes per presentation).