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Teach elementary students ‘Determined to show empathy’ song

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You may find this short song video helpful if any of the following conditions are true:

* You are trying to teach your students more about being indifferent versus showing empathy.

* You are trying to help them receive clarity about the difference between indifference and empathy.

* You want a simple way to help your students to always remember the vocabulary words: Indifferent and Empathy.

* You want a fun way for your students to understand what it means to be indifferent to someone as opposed to what it means to feel empathy for someone.


Directions: Play the video and have the students sing along.

Suggestion: Sing at least the first verse of the traditional song called “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.” That way, the students can keep the tune firmly in mind as they apply the following alternate lyrics of the song called “Sympathy versus Empathy Song.”

Please note: This song is one of the activities included in the lessons called “Zeb and Deb anti-bullying K-2 lessons.

Determined to show empathy song

© 2014 lyrics re-told by Debbie Dunn
Sing this song to the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.”

Verse 1:

If you’re indifferent, it means you just don’t care. Grunt! Grunt!

If you’re indifferent, it means you just don’t care. Grunt! Grunt!

You don’t care one way or the other

or think they are worthwhile.

If you’re indifferent, it means you just don’t care. Grunt! Grunt!

Verse 2:

If you want to make the world a better place, Oh, yeah!

If you want to make the world a better place, Oh, yeah!

show you care to all people

and to Mother Earth

helps the world be a better place. Oh, yeah!

Verse 3:

How do you show that you really care? How? How?

How do you show real empathy? How? How?

In your mind, walk a mile

in their shoes to understand

Showing empathy is really grand. Oh, yeah!

Verse 4:

To show you care, be willing to take turns. Oh, yeah!

To show you care, make certain that you share. Oh, yeah!

Show respect for others

and show respect for self

That is em-path-y at its best. Hooray!

Verse 5:

Now you understand empathy. Hooray!

You’re determined that is what you’ll do. Hooray!

No longer indifferent

or trying to be mean

You are nice on purpose to us all. Hooray!


Previous lessons

This is the Zeb and Deb anti-bullying K-2 lesson 4. For lessons 1-4, click the links below:

Lesson 1: Introducing program, song, and class rules

Lesson 2: Rob and Tina lost their joy

Lesson 3: Rob, Tina, and the Mouse Mother tale

Lesson 4: More about tiny Tina and big Rob

Lesson 5: Monkey Mick and Monkey Minn

  • Part A. Zeb and Deb anti-bullying K-2 lesson 5: Monkey Mick and Monkey Minn
  • Part B. Tattling versus telling skits set 1: Name-calling plus using I Messages (coming soon)



Benchmarks and Standards from the Department of Education for the State of Tennessee

Please note: This anti-bullying lesson ties in with the following grades K-2 guidance counseling and health benchmarks and standards for the state of Tennessee. It could also apply to the guidance counseling and health benchmarks and standards for other states as well; however, since the author is a Tennessee resident, she has only researched Tennessee guidelines.

Please also note: Only key words and phrases will be listed for the standards. For the full text, please see the full-text resource section below for the downloadable PDF guidelines.


School Counseling Standard 3: “Relate School to Life Experiences”

  • Helpers in school & community:

* Standard 3: Level 1

* Standard 3: Level 3

School Counseling Standard 6: “Knowledge and skills to achieve Career goals”

  • “Conflict management skills with peers and adults:”

* 6.3

* Standard 6: Level 2

* Standard 6: Level 3

* Standard 6: Sample Task: Stoplight Exercise

School Counseling Standard 7: “Self Knowledge and Interpersonal Skills”

  • Feelings:

* 7.2

* Standard 7: Level 1

* Standard 7: Level 2

  • “Demonstrate a positive attitude toward self:”

* 7.1

* Standard 7: Level 2

  • Communication skills:

* 7.4

School Counseling Standard 9 “Acquire Personal Safety Skills”

  • Coping skills:


  • Helpers in school & community:

* 9.2

* Standard 9: Level 1

  • Bullying & Teasing:

* Standard 9: Level 3

* Standard 9: Sample Task

  • “Effective and appropriate ways to respond to ‘put-downs, compliments, and kind responses’.”

* Standard 9: Sample Task

  • “Alternative approaches to resolving conflict non-violently”

* Standard 9: Sample Task

  • Emotion:

* Standard 9: Level 3


Section called: Emotional, Social, and Mental Health”.

Standard 8: The student will understand the importance of positive self-concept and interpersonal relationships for healthy living.”

  • Feelings & Expression:

* 8.1

* Standard 8: Level 1 (three listings)

* Standard 8: Level 2

* 2 Teacher Assessment Indicators example

  • Manage emotions & Feeling sad/sadness:

* Standard 8: Level 2 (two listings)

  • Characteristics of a bully:

* Standard 8: Level 1

  • “Actions to take when confronted by a bully”:

* Standard 8: Level 2

  • “Role play of a bullying situation”:

* Standard 8: Level 3

* Teacher Assessment Indicators example

  • Communication skills

* Standard 8: Level 1

* Standard 8: Level 2

Full-Text Resources:

School Counseling & Career Guidance: Grades K-2 for the state of Tennessee (Adopted in 2005)

Tennessee Health Education Standards pre-K-2


Lesson 6: Tina, Rob, and Ellen Eagle’s Traffic Light Game (coming soon)


See Debbie Dunn’s articles on | School Conflict Resolution | K-8 Classroom Activities | Women’s Health | Storytelling Website

Subscribe to: | School Conflict Resolution | K-8 Classroom Activities | Women’s Health |

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