We end the year as we began- practicing 'perspective taking' or point of view. This is a complex set of related skills that we use in a wide range of social situations and academic activities. Simply put, it is generally considered to be the ability to understand that not only do I have thoughts and opinions but that other people have their own thoughts and opinions about things. It also allows for me to put myself in another person's shoes, grow empathy and compassion . And more.
It requires many Executive Functioning & Social Emotional skills and is an area of difficulty for many in my class. This is further complicated as children get older and many start to hide their true feelings or thoughts from others for a variety of reasons ( fitting in,being liked , conflicted etc.)
It is well documented that the acquisition of a perspective taking ability leads to the development of important social and communication skills. It also impacts reading comprehension and many related academic skills.
Michelle Garcia Winner has a nice article on Perspective Taking and how it is woven into our lives here.
The book Hey, Little Ant is a simple and concrete way to look at two different perspectives while using some of our SEL skills to decide what we would do in the boy's situation.
Planning and creating their iMovie Trailers
After reading and discussing the story aloud to the children, they read a script I created for the book to include a few more characters. The children practiced reading aloud the script several times in a reader's theater model which worked on listening & speaking skills, fluency as well as deepening their understanding of the two perspectives in the story.
They enjoyed this activity and many read with feeling and wonderful inflection. They clearly understood the two perspectives and were able to complete a worksheet asking them to make the hard choice to squish or not squish the ant and explain their reasoning.
Finally, they were asked to make an iMovie trailer to demonstrate their understanding by showing an example of the two perspectives and ending their trailer with a question to the audience.
Once they filled out the GO planning worksheet, they were soon using several apps to make their movie. This was challenging as they had to find a way to show both points of view which extended their learning and deepened their understanding . Enjoy!
They will be finishing these this week so come back for more soon!