Exercise in Empathy

Have youth adopt the perspective of those in history who are poorly represented or not represented in history books. With each news story, piece of literature, film clip, etc. that you share, ask youth to identify content that is emotional. Next ask them to respond empathetically to the central person featured in the literature, news, or film. They can create poems, journals, speeches, plays, or newspaper articles using these voices of the past in order to build understanding and emotional connection through history. Youth can also write letters from these people to present individuals and address current issues of importance. They work to build bridges between past and present, understand cause and effect, and deepen their knowledge about contemporary issues.