Paws for Guidance

The "Bones" on Second Grade Classroom Guidance

Let me introduce myself...

I'm Gwen Sitsch and it is a pleasure to be your child's school counselor. I work with Lake Murray Elementary students in kindergarten, first, second, and fourth grades. Classroom guidance is one component of the total school guidance and counseling program. While there are many things I love about being a school counselor, classroom guidance ranks at the top because it's where I get to know students and build relationships with them. I teach in each class approximately one time per month. Guidance lessons in second grade this year will focus on teaching students skills to build positive relationships with their peers.

Featured In Our First Two Lessons


Empathy is the ability to put oneself in someone else's shoes and understand that person's feelings. Studies show that empathy is a basic life skill and one that must be taught. But kids generally are not responsive to a lecture on empathy. So use everyday situations and snippets of time in the car or while running errands to play these empathy "games" to help teach and reinforce this basic life skill.


Name a feeling. Ask your child to make his/her face and then whole body show that feeling without making a noise. Then ask him/her to show you a different way to show that same emotion. Discuss how feelings can look different on different people.


Teach your child to "read" people's feelings by showing pictures and asking "How do you think she's feeling?" Have your child defend their answer with facts like, "I think she's lonely because her eyes are down, she's not smiling, and there's no one around her." Take this a step further by asking your child, "Is there anything you can think of that you could do if you saw this person feeling this way?"


Show your child pictures in books, magazines, or pre-selected pictures on your computer that show people in situations that may have more than one point of view. For example, you may show a picture of a mom with two children who are arguing. Have your child take turns being each person in the picture. Allow him/her to tell you his/her point of view. Then say, "How do you feel as that person?" Emphasize that people in the same situation can and do have different feelings.