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The Fourth Grade Project

The Fourth Grade Project

Changing the world through empathy and understanding


Acclaimed artist Judy Gelles photographed and interviewed fourth-grade students around the world with three questions: Who do you live with? What do you wish for? What do you worry about? Their collected stories revealed the true depth and diversity of their experiences and became a successful art project. The project expanded into a free digital curriculum available to any educator interested in increasing empathy and understanding in their classroom.


Teachers struggle to get to know their students, and students often have difficulty empathizing with their peers. The Fourth Grade Project opens up channels of understanding by helping students share their lives through art.


AAJdesign created a bold and intuitive web experience describing the Fourth Grade Project and offering a web-based curriculum resource for teachers. Through lesson plans and downloadable images, teachers gain effective resources to teach students about peer experiences and urgent social issues affecting fourth graders around the world. By helping young students empathize with each other, the project hopes to make the world a better place for all.