Perspective-Taking

GRADES 6-8

Learning Goal

Students will learn the meaning and value of taking another’s perspective.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:

  • Identify what it means to take another person’s perspective
  • Practice taking another’s perspective

Learning Summary

Perspective-taking is the ability to understand another’s thoughts, feelings, and point of view. The skill of perspective-taking is a critical tool in building a student’s social awareness.

This lesson starts with a mindful moment in which students focus their attention on their breath as they trace a sideways 8. In the introduction, students respond to several controversial questions (on cell phones in school, test taking for students, and investment in arts or in sports). This introduction lays the groundwork for the topic of perspective-taking, highlighting for students that they each have their own perspectives and the importance of respecting and considering others’. Students reflect on perspective-taking by considering various scenarios in small groups and how there could be multiple perspectives for each. Students discuss why perspective- taking is an important lifelong skill and then debate if it can be taught. Students end by reflecting in their journals on writing a piece on their own perspective.

computer icon    Online Teaching Tips for Perspective-Taking

For both live and recorded deliveries, the Perspective-Taking Through Scenarios can be done virtually making sure to give students time to consider and reflect on the perspectives through the graphic organizer in the lesson plan. Additionally, the Perspective-Taking Photos additional activity can be done well using the slide deck for online learning and is a student favorite.

For a live delivery, during the Perspective Debate introduction, find a way for students to debate the topics without them all talking over one other. Consider using a “raise hand” option if that’s part of your online learning software or the chat box.

For recorded delivery, the Perspective Debate is challenging to do recorded. You can skip the introduction or read through the different debate topics for students to consider them on their own then move into the activity.

CASEL Competencies

Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.