ENCOUNTER: Exploring Multiple Perspectives Through an Integrated Unit in History, Drama and Langauage Arts

I See It Differently: An Exercise in Multiple Perspectives.

We start our Encounter unit by studying a remarkable book by Anthony Browne and our fourth graders create the

“I see it differently” project.

Two children and their parents meet in the park in 'VOICES IN THE PARK by Anthony Browne

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. This book begins our discussion of how people experience the same event but “see it differently” through their own lens. Multiple perspectives–the first step…

Instead of saying “I disagree,” in drama class, we say, “I see it differently.” It is a key piece in the quest for powerful non-violent language both in and out of the drama classroom. I give an assignment asking children to reflect on the lens through which they see the world around them.

Students create a piece of art inspired by the book using the words, “I see it differently”

Assignment: Use the words “I see it differently” and create something that reflects “the way you see it”.  How do you see the world? What is important to you? Share your insights and ideas through your art. The words “I see it differently” must appear on the piece, but that is the only need. Use your imagination and create the piece in any way you like. It may be no bigger than a shoebox.

We’ve had collages using hats, pictures with seeds, ribbons, mementos from treasured relatives short films, clay sculpture, drawings, paintings etc…All of the children in the fourth grade classrooms share their work and we display it.

YES AND…

“Yes, and–one of the fundamental rules of improvisation,  is also part of  non-violent communication in the drama classroom. Using the phrase,  “I hear you… and..I see it differently” or “and…I wish to add to the discussion,” facilitates conversation and allows children to work collaboratively without feeling judged by others.

I have a big “YES, and….” hanging in my room. Try it at home. Ask your fourth or fifth grader about the exercise where we used three different strategies “to plan a class party” with a partner:

First we planned with each person making a suggestion and the other partner would answer:

No, because…

Then we changed the response to…

Yes, but…..

Then

Exploring non-violent and inclusive communication in the classroom.

After the exercise, children had insightful comments about how “yes, and”  is a more effective tool for working collaboratively. In discussion, the students used lots of building metaphors about how, yes, and allowed them to build something real without the ideas being random and disconnected.

 Voices in the Park

  • ISBN-10: 078948191X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789481917