Empathy-Building Learning Resources

ELA, SEL, Civics + Social Engagement | Grades 2–5

Red Nose Day in School provides free supplemental lesson plans and routines designed to build classroom community, help students strengthen their SEL skills, and realize their power to help others.

Our two programs, FriendSkills and Everyday Heroes, are flexible, support key literacy skills, and can be done in the classroom or at the kitchen table!

Check them out below!


FriendSkills Program

The FriendSkills series will help your students build friendships and community, whether learning in person at school or virtually.

These creative and fun supplemental activities will help children understand their own emotions, develop active listening skills, and learn how to connect with others through empathy.

Created in partnership with Six Seconds, FriendSkills is designed to support your existing SEL program with adaptations for online learning to meet the moment.

Download FriendSkills Full Program
FriendSkills Full Program

All of the FriendSkills activities, bundled into one.

Emotions Alphabet
Emotions Alphabet
Emotions Alphabet

Students will develop emotional literacy skills as they identify emotions and build self awareness.

Friendship Juggle
friendship juggle
Friendship Juggle

Students will increase empathy skills as they practice active listening and share similarities and differences.

Empathy Hearts
empathy hearts
Empathy Hearts

Students will learn how to show empathetic caring, a key friendship skill.


Everyday Heroes Program

The Everyday Heroes lesson plans and routines will help you celebrate acts of empathy and kindness in your classroom and inspire your students to take action to help others — all while building important SEL and literacy skills.

While the classroom routines can be used year-round, the supplemental lessons can support key learning moments on the calendar, including the 100th Day of School, Reading Month, and April Fool’s Day.



download free remote learning lessons
Everyday Heroes Full Program

All of the lesson plans and routines, bundled into one.

100th Day of School
100th day
Writing For Social Action

Students will use their research and letter-writing skills to make a difference for children in need in their communities.

National Reading Month
empathy activities
Building Empathy Through Reading

Students will read informational text to develop empathy for those in need.

April Fool's Day
April Fools Day Lesson
Literacy, Empathy, and Humor

Students will use humor and creativity to build literacy skills and explore how they can make a difference with comedy!

All Year Long
everyday heros cert 2021
Everyday Heroes Classroom Routines to Build Empathy

Build empathy, strengthen classroom community, and celebrate your students’ acts of kindness! Includes routines, nomination form, certificate, and editable 8.5x11” poster.

All Year Long
EDH at Home
Take-Home Activity
Everyday Hero At Home Routine

Share this letter and routine with parents and guardians to encourage kindness and empathy practice at home.

All Year Long
Classroom Poster
Everyday Heroes Classroom Poster

Use this classroom-sized poster with the Everyday Heroes routine. It’s sized at 15.5x20.75”, perfect for posting on a wall or bulletin board.

All Year Long
virtual background 2021
Virtual Background
Everyday Heroes Virtual Background

Use this virtual background with the Everyday Heroes classroom routine as an added bonus for your weekly hero!

All Year Long
clean water in nepal
Reading Passages
Narratives of Hope

Students can read stories of real children impacted by poverty in the U.S. and around the world, and learn how organizations supported by Red Nose Day are helping.

All Year Long
program overview
Program Overview
Teachable Moments Throughout the Year

Our flexible program is tied to key learning moments throughout the year. Use this overview to help you plan!

Join the Joke-Ha-Thon


Our videos help students understand the different issues children in poverty face, both in the United States and around the world. They also educate students about the types of programs Red Nose Day funds that help meet both the short and long-term needs of these children, ensuring that they're safe, healthy, educated, and empowered.

Please note, some of these videos may feature sensitive content for certain age groups. We encourage you to review them before you share with your students.

Watch a sample of the videos below, or check out 15+ videos on the Red Nose Day in School video playlist on YouTube.

RND in School Videos

  • Julia Roberts Takes a Trip with Children's Health Fund

    Julia Roberts shares how children in the U.S. impacted by the COVID are getting the healthcare they need

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    Last year we met our everyday hero Pam with Children's Health Fund. Now she is on the frontlines of COVID-19 to ensure children have access to essential medical care.

  • Milo in Kenya

    Milo Ventimiglia visits Africa to shows how poverty impacts childrens’ health

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    Travel with Milo Ventimiglia to see how your donations are already supporting an army of health workers across the globe, in places like Tanzania, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh - whose daily fight is to keep kids alive and healthy.

  • Susan Kelechi Watson on How You Can You Help Children Facing Hunger

    Susan Kelechi Watson on how children facing hunger in the U.S. are being helped

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    Today nearly 1 in 5 children in the US are not getting enough to eat, only exacerbated by the pandemic. But thanks to Red Nose Day partners like Feeding America your donations ensure children don’t go to bed hungry.

  • Ed Sheeran and Peaches

    Ed Sheeran meets Peaches, a young girl in Liberia

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    In this video, Ed meets Peaches, a young girl affected by the Ebola crisis.

  • Felix, a street child from Uganda

    Jack Black meets Felix, a street child, in Uganda

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    In 2015's Red Nose Day Special, Jack Black met a street kid from Uganda named Felix. One year later, your #RedNoseDay donations changed his life.

  • In Atlanta, L.E.A.D is using baseball as a form of empowerment.

    Rising Above Poverty in Atlanta

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    In Atlanta, 30% of children live in poverty, and only 4% will make it out. L.E.A.D, a program funded by Red Nose Day, uses the power of sport to empower young ambassadors and help them overcome crime, poverty, and racism.

  • Paul Rudd speaks to a young girl at a school.

    Paul Rudd and Julia Roberts explore child poverty in America

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    Follow along as Paul Rudd and Julia Roberts visit some schools in the United States, where children in need do not have access to healthy meals or good medical care.

Celebrate Diversity in Your School Community

Talking about racial identity and bias with children means acknowledging what children already know: people are different, and the world is not colorblind.

At Red Nose Day, we believe that part of building empathy is nurturing spaces that honor diversity and inclusion, and foster belonging. Conversations about race and identity can be difficult, but these resources can help build a safe, open, and accepting classroom and school community where students can explore their identities and learn to understand, respect, and celebrate their differences.

Lessons on Race

Different Colors of Beauty

These lessons help K-5 students develop their racial or ethnic identities in a safe and open class environment. Children will build understanding through art, poetry, family interviews, and class conversation starters to build community. Each lesson offers guidance for teachers.


Reprinted with permission of Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Get More Involved

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    Red Nose Day's Impact

    Red Nose Day supports programs that address the immediate needs of vulnerable children while fostering long-term change.

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    Fundraise for Red Nose Day

    Your students can use the power of their voices to support children living in poverty.

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News & Resources for Teachers and Parents

Check out these additional resources to help and inspire both teachers and parents in this unprecedented time.

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