Story Stop

At this station you’ll read a story together, stopping at key moments in the story to talk about thoughts and feelings of the character.


Build empathy and practice navigating emotions



  1. In this picture book, there will be 1-2 points throughout the story where a character is faced with a challenging situation (such as a conflict, decision, or big feelings moment), this will be marked with a post-it note on the page to highlight the moment.
  2. Read the story, stopping at the challenging moment post-its and: 
    • Ask the children what they think the character is thinking.
    • Ask the children what emotion they think the character is feeling. (Optional use the posted feelings chart if needed)
    • Ask the children what actions they think the character will take.
  3. There are no wrong answers – there will be a range of answers.  Try to remain neutral about the children’s responses. Just repeat back the child’s words to the whole group to validate the thought but not judge the answer.  
  4.  After finishing the story have a discussion with the children. 


  • When have you been in a situation like this?  Sharing the feelings of someone or some character is called Empathy.  Why do you think having empathy is a good thing? How can we develop more of it?
  • Thoughts, feelings and actions are connected.  Can you think of a time when you were feeling like the character in this story and what action did you take?  If you could do it again, would you take the same action?


Invite participants to draw a picture about the character in the story, using the same or different ending to the story. Share the thoughts feelings and actions of the character using a wide range of feeling words.

Activity Source

Patty Freedman & Maria Jackson

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About this activity…






4-10 minutes