Point of View
for grades 3-6
Students will better appreciate the importance of understanding another person's
point of view to solve a conflict.
written on chalkboard or chart paper
scripts (see below))
of the drawing (below) for each pair of students in the class
Go-round. Ask, What is your favorite musical group or song?
Go over the day's plan and ask if it seems okay.
is your point of view?
are going to do a little experiment to see if everyone sees the same thing when
we look at a picture.
students to find a partner or divide them into pairs.
copies of the drawing above to each pair.
pairs a few minutes to figure out how they would describe the appearance of the
person in the picture. Is this someone they would like to get to know? What does
she seem to be wearing?
volunteers for their descriptions.
students to describe their process in looking at the picture. What did they see
first? Why did some people see an old woman at first and some a young girl? Can
everyone now see both figures? Is there a "wrong" way to see the picture?
People have different ways of looking at things. We call that having different
"points of view." It happens because we have different bodies, different
kinds of families and different kinds of experiences.
Many times the conflicts we experience in our own lives result from experiencing
things in a different way from another person. To see how this works, we are going
to do some role plays.
two volunteers the role-play scene between Carlos and his mother, below.. Discuss
the scene briefly with each one to make sure s/he understands the role before
beginning the role play. Instruct them to begin an argument in the role play.
the argument begins to get heated, stop the role play and ask the actors (still
in character) how they are feeling.
with the class: What is Carlos's point of view? What does Carlos want? What is
his mother's point of view? What does she want? Can anybody think of a situation
from his or her own life that is similar? What are the different points of view
in that situation?
the actors leave their roles and ask them how it was to play those roles. Have
the class applaud them.
the process with other scenes from the scenarios provided or with scenes from
the students' own lives.
#1: Carlos & his Mother
The living room is messy. Some of Carlos's comic books are lying
around. He's going through them because he wants to trade some of them with his
friends. He also has a game on the floor that he started to play with his sister.
He wants the game to remain there so he and his sister can finish it later. He
likes being in the living room because there are usually other people around there.
All the things that are scattered about are things he is using. The mess doesn't
The living room is messy. Carlos's comic books and game are lying around. She
wants to keep the room organized because everyone in the family uses it and it
is also the place where guests come. She thinks Carlos's things are in the way.
She thinks he should pick up after himself and keep his things in his own room.
#2: Joanne & her Father
Joanne's dad insists that she be in the house by 8 p.m. on school
nights. But the weather is getting warm, her friends are staying out later in
the street, and Joanne wants to be able to stay with her friends.
The rule is that Joanne must be in the house by 8 p.m. on school nights. Joanne's
father is concerned that it is not safe for her to be out after 8 p.m., and he
worrieds about her. He also wants to be sure she gets enough sleep so she is not
tired in school.
#3: Jason & the Teacher
Jason was talking to his friend about what they were going to
do on the playground at lunch time at the same time that the teacher was talking.
The teacher told him that she was going to contact his parents and discuss his
behavior with them. Jason is mad because he thinks the teacher is always picking
on him. Other kids talk, he says, and the teacher doesn't do anything about it.
When she was explaining the homework assignment, Jason was talking instead of
listening. She sees him talking all the time. When he doesn't have his homework,
he says he didn't hear her give the assignment, and he didn't think there was
any." Jason needs to start listening in class.
#4: Sarah & her Mom
Sarah wants to wear jeans to school that have slashes cut in them
and patches. She thinks it's a neat style. Her mother says she's not leaving the
house in those rags.
Sarah's mother thinks students should be dressed neatly
for school, and she worries that adults won't respect her daughter as much if
she dresses sloppily. Sarah's mother went to a parochial school where students
wore uniforms, and she thinks the discipline was much better there because of
the dress rules.
Raymond & Thomas
Raymond wants to play with his friend Thomas. Thomas, as usual,
wants to play baseball. Raymond doesn't like to play baseball. He's not very good
at it, and he'd rather play something else. He feels as if all Thomas ever wants
to do is play baseball.
Thomas would like to play with Raymond, who is a good friend.
He's on a Little League team, and he wants to practice baseball. He would also
like Raymond to play baseball better, because then he might want to join the Little
League team, too. Then they could spend more time together.
Ask a few volunteers, What are some feelings you had about today's lesson
and what are some reasons for those feelings?
Go-round. Ask students to think about a time their own point of view has
changed. Have them complete the sentence, "I used to, but now..."
Discuss points of view in stories students are reading.
students rewrite an "I" story, choosing another character to be "I"
and telling it from their point of view.
students write a story about a conflict they were in. Then ask them to take the
other person's point of view and rewrite the story.
students tell a story from the point of view of a fish in a fish bowl watching
people in the classroom.
students describe the events in the classroom from the point of view of a Martian
visiting this planet for the first time.
students are studying another culture, discuss what a person from that culture
might think about life in your school.
at historical events from different points of view. For example, role-play the
arrival of Columbus from the point of view of the people who lived here.
welcome your thoughts and suggestions about these activities! Please email us