Art for Perspective Taking

Students draw different perspectives from a past disagreement.
Ages 8-14 / 20
min Activity
Self-Awareness
Perspective Taking
Art

Objectives

  • ‍Identify a previous disagreement that was resolved and reflect on their own perspective of it, as well as the perspective of the other person
  • ‍Use art to compare the two perspectives
  • ‍Consider the importance of understanding another person's thoughts and emotions, and strategies that can help facilitate perspective taking

Supporting Research

Perspective taking is an important ability that facilitates problem-solving, even when you disagree with the other person, as it increases cognitive flexibility to switch between differing viewpoints. Educators should encourage students to practice self-awareness and perspective taking as they consider both sides of a disagreement they have experienced.

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

Materials

  • ‍Art materials (e.g., pens, pencils, markers, crayons, and paint)

Activity Partners

Instructions

  1. Ask students to remember a time they argued with someone else, such as a sibling, friend, or classmate, and they were able to resolve the disagreement. Invite them to quietly reflect on the following questions:
    • How did you feel during the disagreement? What sensations did you notice in your body? What were you thinking about?
    • Imagine being the other person, and stepping into their shoes and seeing the world through their eyes. How do you think they felt during the disagreement? What sensations do you think they experienced? What might they have been thinking?
    • Now, remember how you resolved the disagreement. How did you feel? What sensations did you notice in your body? What were you thinking about?
    • Finally, imagine how the other person might have felt when resolving the disagreement. What sensations do you think they experienced? What might they have been thinking?
  2. Encourage students to explore the other person’s perspective through art. First, ask them to remember the scene. Where were they? What was around them? How were they sitting or standing?

    Then, ask students to draw two versions of this moment: 
    • One version that depicts how they felt when settling the disagreement and what they were thinking
    • A second version in which they put themselves in the other person’s shoes, and imagine their perspective to draw how they might have felt and what they might have been thinking
  3. Engage students in a reflection by asking the following questions: 
    • What was it like to remember a time when you resolved an argument with another person?
    • What was similar and different between the two perspectives that you drew?
    • What did you learn from imagining another person’s perspective? What was hard about it? What do you think might be incomplete about what you imagined?
    • What else would help you understand another person’s feelings and thoughts?
    • Why is it helpful to consider another person’s perspective when you are involved in a disagreement?
    • Can you ever really know exactly what another person’s perspective is? Why or why not?

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.