Collaboration Skills

Lesson Plan

Objective: To instill a sense of Empathy in students

Total Time: 90 Minutes

Material required: 

A4 sheets (equal to the number of students), white board and marker

Instructor Note: 

With this session, participants are starting the collaboration module where they will learn about being empathetic, the advantages of teamwork, techniques of negotiation and conflict management. They have already worked in teams in all the previous sessions but this module should help them reflect on their collaboration skills.

Opening Protocol:

  • Greet the participants

  • Take attendance

  • In pairs, ask participants to share with each other how they are feeling

  • Recap the previous session by asking 1-2 participants to share with the class, what they learnt and did in the previous session

5 Minutes

Concept discussion:

  • Write the word “Empathy” on the board

  • Ask, “Can anyone define the word or provide examples of empathy”

  • Take 2-3 responses

  • Ask everyone to open their handbooks

  • Ask one volunteer to come infront and read the story “Empathy”

  • After the student has read the story, ask them, “why do we need other people to empathise with us” and “how can we empathise with others”

10 minutes

Activity 1: Let’s empathise

  • Divide the class into 4 groups 

  • Ask them to read “Steps for practising Empathy” and discuss them with each other to understand the concept better

  • Then tell everyone that they will be doing a role play to demonstrate empathetic and un-empathetic behaviour

  • Group 1 will take scenario 1, Group 2 will take scenario 2, Group 3 will take scenario 3 and Group 4 will take scenario 4

  • Give the groups 7 minutes to prepare their role play. Then, have each group perform in front of the class, each group will end the role play within 4 minutes

After each scenario, ask the participants for their thoughts.

  • What parts of the 5 steps did they do well?

  • How would they show empathy to someone if this happens to them in real life?

  • Have they experienced similar situations in the past?

Ask :

  • Why is empathy important? 

  • How can being empathetic make us different?

  • How can we share the steps to practicing empathy with others?

30 Minutes

Activity 2: Diversity and Inclusivity

  • Divide the class into 3-4 participants.

  • Give each team a handful of random objects. For example, you can distribute office supplies, buttons, household items, etc.

  • Instruct the groups to discuss the different characteristics of the items. How would they separate the objects into smaller sub-groups? For example, would they separate the items by shape, color, form, texture, etc.?(Let them decide as a group)

  • On the whiteboard, record all of the ways the group characterized the objects.

  • When the participants are done sorting the items, review the list of characteristics. Discuss how the list is related to how we categorize human beings. 

  • Use the categories listed as questions.For example: How do we categorize or identify each other according to our shape? How do we categorize or identify each other when it comes to color or gender?

Note for the Facilitator:

• Thick vs. Thin: Thick or thin-skinned.

• Old vs. New: Out of date, wisdom and experience vs. alive, immature or inexperienced.

• Concave vs. Convex: Open, accepting of new ideas and views vs. guarded, holding people at arms’ lengths.


  • How does this activity help you understand diversity?

  • Why is diversity important? 

  • How can we teach others the importance of diversity? 

  • What could you do to make your community or school a more diverse or inclusive place? 

Explain: Reiterate that people, like the objects they worked with earlier, each have a diverse array of qualities and traits. Those differences offer a unique set of perspectives, opinions and skills to every community. But to work as a team, we focus on inclusion of diversity, that means creating a welcoming culture for making the good use of diversity. And that can be possible only when we understand people through empathy.

15 Minutes

Activity 3: Support Desk

Say:  In order to be more empathetic, we need to create a safe space for everyone,which means we make people comfortable in sharing how they feel or reach out for support when they need it. 

To do this we will now do a very interesting thing. 

  • Select a bench(Or a spot) in a class.

  • Ideally this place should be the one that the students design and make their own, but any bench will work as long as everyone understands its purpose.

  • Explain to students that if someone does not have a friend to play with/talk to, he or she can sit on the buddy bench, and another student will come help that student.

  • This will show an open platform for everyone to come and communicate with others when they need support and others will be more consciously empathetic towards each other

  • Tell them that this bench/spot/place is designated as “Support Desk” and everyone should use it during or after the session to seek and give support

10 Minutes

Activity 4: A sweet message

  • Get students to fall in a circle and ask students to reflect on their learning of the entire session by closing their eyes. The facilitator should highlight the major learning slowly.

  • Ask students to take a sheet of paper and a pen

  • Ask them to write a message “something nice about them” to the person standing next to them.

  • Once everyone has done so, ask students to read the messages they have got.

  • End the activity by reiterating that a little support, care can really make our relationships better and that is possible only when we try to understand others. And that is what Empathy is!


15 minutes

Closing Protocol:

  • Thank the participants for their time

  • Announce the next time you will be visiting them

  • Share the topic of the next session

  • Collect 1-2 most interesting activity sheets/artefacts from students and show to Nodal officer and institution head after session

  • Click pictures of the artefacts for documentation

5 Minutes

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