I told them they would be learning a new word--empathy--and that this habit would teach them how to listen with their hearts instead of just their ears. I read them the book How Do I Stand In Your Shoes by Susan Debell.
This book is an EXCELLENT resource if you are trying to teach young children the meaning of empathy! The kids love it and are engaged throughout the entire book. At the end, there are some thoughtful questions you can ask to see what they learned about empathy and how to stand in someone's shoes. After processing the story with them, I planned to have them do a worksheet that they could fill out after interviewing a partner about something that happened to them over the weekend (good or bad). But, I just didn't have time for it because they go to related arts right after my lesson. Instead, I did a short version of emotion charades. I pretended to come into the room very sad and mopey (totally opposite of how excited I always am) and asked them to stand in my shoes to guess how I was feeling. Then, I reminded them of how having empathy was like listening with your heart, and I asked them what kinds of things they could do to help me feel better and to be kind to me if they knew I was sad. We practiced some more feelings: angry, embarrassed, scared and I was so proud at how well they all got it! This is one of my favorite lessons to teach and I was so happy with how well it fit in with Habit 5!