Perspective Walkabout

Explore different perspectives on important topics through a fun movement-based activity!
Ages 8-14 / 45
min Activity
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  • Express their viewpoints on different topics, such as environmental sustainability and health 
  • Engage in discussions to learn about others’ perspectives while practicing strategies related to respectful communication, curiosity, and kindness

Supporting Research

Perspective taking is an important ability that facilitates problem-solving, even when we disagree with the other person, as it increases cognitive flexibility to switch between differing viewpoints. Educators should encourage students to practice perspective taking as they explore different perspectives on important topics and understand why their classmates might hold different beliefs. During the group discussions, educators should also reinforce inclusivity and diplomacy as students show respect and sensitivity for others’ feelings, especially when they disagree with each other.

To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.


Activity Partners

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  1. Select a set of topics that are important for your students, and come up with statements to describe different viewpoints. For example: 
    • Students should wear uniforms to school.
    • Climate change is the most important issue in our world. 
    • Coding should be a required class for all students. 
    • The government should ban unhealthy food. 
    • Celebrities should be paid more money than an average person. 
    • People should stop eating meat.
    • Being honest is more important than being nice.
    • Math and science are more important subjects than history and art. 
    • Zoos are good places for animals. 
    • Companies should not be allowed to cut down trees.
  2. Establish communication norms for the activity, such as: 
    • Take turns speaking so everyone has a chance to share their thoughts without interruptions.
    • Speak to each other with respect and kindness, even if you disagree.
    • Listen to different perspectives with an open heart and mind.
    • Avoid using words that could hurt someone’s feelings.
    • Recognize that it's okay for people to have different opinions and beliefs.
    • Express your thoughts and feelings using phrases like "I think" or "I feel". 

    Create a large open space in the classroom where students can move freely. Designate one side of the room as "strongly disagree" and the opposite side as "strongly agree”.
  3. Announce one of the statements to the class, such as: “Students should wear uniforms to school.”

    Students should physically move to the part of the room that represents their level of agreement or disagreement with the statement. If they strongly disagree, they move to the "strongly disagree" end, and if they strongly agree, they move to the "strongly agree" end. If they are neutral and “neither disagree nor agree” with the statement, they should position themselves in the center of the room. 
  4. Once students have positioned themselves, invite students standing in different parts of the room to share their thoughts with the rest of the class. Emphasize the importance of listening carefully to each person and treating them with respect and kindness, even when students disagree with them. 

    Students might ask questions such as:
    • What past experiences or observations have influenced your thoughts on this issue? 
    • Can you share some information that supports your opinion? 
    • Why do you think someone might see this topic differently than you? 
  5. Consider repeating the activity with additional prompts. 
  6. After completing the activity, guide students through a reflection by asking the following questions:
    • Was it easy or difficult to participate in a discussion with classmates who have different opinions than you? Why? 
    • Did you discover any surprising or unexpected similarities with someone else? For example, is there a belief or value that you share in common? 
    • Do you think our conversation would have been different if it had happened online? Why?
    • Did someone share any information that you hadn’t considered before? Did this change your mind about the issue?
    • What are some strategies that help people have a respectful conversation when they have different perspectives? 
    • How can you apply these strategies to other parts of your life, whether at school, at home, or in the community? 

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.