“I See It Differently” Non-violent language for discussion.

I See It Differently: An exercise in multiple perspectives.

Fourth graders create the “I see it differently” board each year. I read “Voices in the Park” by Anthony Browne and we discuss the author’s use of various points of view. It’s a picture book about an encounter in the park between four people, told from four different perspectives. The assignment: Use the words “I see it differently” on a sheet of 9×11 paper. The words must appear on the paper, but that is the only requirement.Use your imagination and create the page in any way you like.
I’ve had collages using hats, pictures with seeds, ribbons, mementos from treasured relatives etc… All children and the drama and fourth grade classroom teachers share their work and we post it all for the entire year in the classroom. Instead of saying “I disagree,” we say, “I see it differently.” It is a key piece in my quest for powerful non-violent language both in and out of the classroom. It is catching on throughout the school as well. This is the third year I have assigned “I see it differently”. “Yes, and…” is also part of that non-violent communication. It says, “I hear you… and..I see it differently” or “and…I wish to add to the discussion.”

I have a big “YES, and….” hanging in my room. Sometimes I have students hold the sign as they engage in discussion. The child who has the sign in her hands is the speaker. “Yes, and…” is the perfect place to begin.

.Exploring non-violent and inclusive communication in the classroom.

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