Compassion Critters

OBJECTIVE: We will create a stuffed critter that represents four qualities of compassion.

WHY THIS MATTERS: Empathy is important because racism is rooted in self-interest and the desire to have and keep power. But to be anti-racist, we need more than just empathy. We need to have compassion. Compassion is caring for the needs of others and taking action to help them. In this activity, we will explore four qualities of compassion.

The following images are from one of my 1st-grade classes. Students met once a week for 45 minutes, and the project took three classes to complete. 

DAY ONE: Artists learned about the four qualities of compassion and created a sketch of a creature that includes symbols for each.

Compassion Critters.pdf

DAY TWO: Artists cut out their drawings and transfer them onto fabric. They then carefully cut their fabric pieces and began using colored sharpies to add details to their compassion critters. While students were working, I used a hot-glue gun to attach the pieces. 

DAY THREE: Artists stuffed their work and used mixed media materials to complete their compassion critters. While they were working, I used a hot-glue gun to close the opening. Artists then came together and shared their work as a class, explaining the meaning behind the symbols they used and articulating the importance of demonstrating compassion in our everyday lives. 

Student Art