Explore Points of View

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This session will explore the second LEADerS strategy: Explore points of view. In order to effectively look and actively listen to others, we must be open to exploring more than one point of view. This helps us be WITS LEADerS who make a difference.

Introduction

To begin, show students the LEADerS poster, and review the first strategy: Look and listen. Discuss the following questions:

  1. What did we learn about really looking at a situation? Sometimes you need to look beyond what you first see in order to really understand a person or situation.
  2. How can we actively listen to others?Review the Whole Body Listening poster.

Activities

Each activity in this segment will take three to four classes to complete. Activities are divided into three levels:

  • GETTING STARTED ACTIVITIES: Suitable for students being introduced to LEADerS for the first time.
  • NEXT STEP ACTIVITIES: Used to reinforce LEADerS strategies that have been introduced in a previous session or year.
  • REINFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES: Suitable for students who have been using the LEADerS Programs for two or more years.

Getting Started Activities

Complete one of the Getting Started Activities below and then read the book The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig. Use the questions and activities in the book’s associated lesson plan to reinforce the Explore points of view strategy.

1. PAPER ART

Materials

A letter-sized piece of paper for each student

Exercise

Distribute an 8.5 x 11” piece of paper to each student. Tell students they are going to create paper art, and ask them to follow these instructions:

  1. Fold the paper in half.
  2. Fold it again.
  3. Rip the bottom right hand corner of the paper.
  4. Fold the paper diagonally.
  5. Rip the top corner of the paper.
  6. Fold in half again.
  7. Try to delicately poke a hole through the middle of the paper.
  8. Open the paper.

Discussion

  1. Are any of the paper creations exactly the same? No. Everyone had the same set of instructions but interpreted them in a different way.
  2. What does this activity show us about points of view? Everyone has their own point of view even when they are involved in the same situation. Everyone’s perspective is different.

2. COTTON VS. SANDPAPER WORDS

Materials

3 boxes (1 covered in cotton balls, 1 covered in sandpaper, 1 plain), 2 strips of paper for each child

Exercise

Circulate the cotton ball box and the sandpaper box among the children. Ask them to describe how it feels to touch each of them. Possible answers:

Cotton box: Soft, fluffy, tender, comforting.

Sandpaper box: Rough, sharp, painful, jagged.

Emphasize that some of the words we say also feel, soft, tender, and comforting or rough, sharp, and painful. Distribute the slips of paper to each child. Ask them to write down a phrase or sentence that is filled with cotton words. On the second piece of paper, ask students to write down a phrase or sentence that has sandpaper words. Put all the slips of paper in the plain box and redistribute them to the children. Ask children to read aloud their sentence and determine whether it goes in the cotton box or the sandpaper box.

Extension Activity

Some phrases or sentences that are like sandpaper can be reworded or rearranged so they are more like cotton. Choose potential sentences that could be changed slightly to go into the cotton box.

Next Step Activities

Complete one of the Next Step Activities below and then read the book Mr. Peabody’s Apples by Madonna. Use the questions and activities in the book’s associated lesson plan to reinforce the Explore points of view strategy.

1. BUBBLE TALK

Materials

Birthday Celebration handout

Exercise

Distribute a copy of the Birthday Celebration handout to each child. Ask them to look closely at each of the characters in the picture and then write down what each character is feeling or thinking in their thought bubble. Have students compare their perspectives with one another.

Discussion

Ask students to share their answers for each depicted character, writing down key words. Compare and contrast the perspectives students shared, reinforcing that everyone sees and interprets body language and facial expressions in different ways.

2. MYSTERY SHOES

Materials

4 pairs of shoes of varying styles and sizes (e.g. toddler’s shoes, fluffy women’s slippers, men’s boots, children’s shoes)

4 shoeboxes

Place each pair of shoes in a box. On the inside lid, write a scenario about the shoes contained. For example:

Toddler’s Shoes
The person that wears these shoes is three years old. He wants to play ball hockey with his older brothers, but he can’t keep up with the pace of the game and keeps falling or getting knocked down.

  1. How is he feeling?
  2. What is he thinking?
  3. What could you do or say to make him feel better?

Slippers
The girl who wears these slippers just had a fight with her best friend Sara. Sara said she no longer wanted to be friends with her. The girl came home and cried herself to sleep.

  1. How is she feeling?
  2. What is she thinking?
  3. What could you do or say to make her feel better?

Men’s boots
The young man who wears these boots made a promise to meet up with buddies for a game of basketball. He forgot about the game because he had chores to finish at home. His friends sent him a mean text, suggesting that he won’t be invited to future games.

  1. How is he feeling?
  2. What is he thinking?
  3. What could you do or say to make him feel better?

Children’s Shoes
These shoes belong to a boy who spends most of his time alone on the playground. He isn’t mean or anything, but he is quiet and does not know how to join in with games or conversations. Most of the time he is ignored by other students in the school.

  1. How is he feeling?
  2. What is he thinking?
  3. What could you do or say to make him feel better?

Exercise

Distribute the boxes among small groups of students. Have the groups read the scenarios and answer the three questions associated with each shoe. If appropriate, the students can try on the shoes while answering the questions.

Reinforcement Activities

Complete one of the Reinforcement Activities below to reinforce the Explore points of view strategy.

1. PERSPECTIVE-TAKING: MOTIVE AND INTENT

Materials

What Are They Saying? handout

Discussion

Sometimes what people say doesn’t really show what they are thinking or feeling. This is an important concept for children to understand in order to interpret subtle clues in their interactions with one another. Discussing appropriate responses and questions may help to clarify a better understanding of perceptions.
Present the following scenarios to students and discuss what the individuals are really trying to say.

  1. You are playing on the computer and your parent asks, “How long will it take you to do your homework?”
    • What does it seem like your parent is saying? “How much homework do you have?”
    • What do you think your parent might mean? “Are you choosing to play on the computer rather than do your homework?”
    • What could you ask to find out more? “Do you want to know if I have enough time to complete my homework?” or “Do you want me to stop playing on the computer?”
  2. Your friend says to you, “I have so much homework. I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done.”
    • What does it seem like your friend is saying? “I don’t have time to do all the homework.”
    • What do you think your friend might mean? “I need help to understand the homework.”
    • What could you ask to find out more? “Do you understand the homework assignments? Do you need help?”

Exercise

Distribute the What Are They Saying? handout to students. Ask them to individually read the scenarios and answer the questions under each heading. In the blank box at the bottom of the page, students should write their own scenarios and leave the final three boxes blank. When everyone has finished their page, have students discuss their answers to the first three scenarios. Students can then switch papers so that they may answer their classmates’ written scenarios. Allow time to discuss their answers to the last scenario.

2. MORE THAN ONE PERSPECTIVE

Materials

Is it a 6 or a 9? poster

Scenario Cards handout

Discussion

Sometimes conflict stems from not understanding the other person’s perspective. Start by showing the Is it a 6 or a 9? poster to students. Ask students to discuss the potential conflict that could occur between the two characters in the drawing.
What steps could help you gain more understanding when you’re having a conflict with someone? Possible answers include:

  • Find out more information by asking questions. “Tell me more about what you’re thinking or feeling.”
  • Share a similar feeling or event, and find out if the person relates to your story.
  • Offer to help, support, or make a suggestion.
  • Make a positive, enthusiastic, or complimentary comment. “That’s interesting; I never saw it that way before.”

Emphasize that some of the words we say also feel, soft, tender, and comforting or rough, sharp, and painful. Distribute the slips of paper to each child. Ask them to write down a phrase or sentence that is filled with cotton words. On the second piece of paper, ask students to write down a phrase or sentence that has sandpaper words. Put all the slips of paper in the plain box and redistribute them to the children. Ask children to read aloud their sentence and determine whether it goes in the cotton box or the sandpaper box.

Exercise

Distribute the Scenario Cards handout to students to be filled in individually. Ask them to discuss the situation and the questions in small groups.

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