Compassion Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is compassion and how does it differ from empathy? This lesson plan outlines key facts about compassion for students. An activity urges students to demonstrate compassion in response to specific situations.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • define compassion
  • distinguish compassion from empathy
  • exemplify compassionate acts


1 to 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.


  • Paper copies of the text lesson Compassion vs Empathy
  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated text lesson
  • Assorted slips of paper with various unfortunate scenarios written on them (e.g. a homeless person begging on the street, a hungry child, an ill woman, a lost elderly person and so on)
  • A bowl or container

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