Perspective taking activities can help improve critical skills like empathy and communication. In this activity, with the help of a partner, students will work together to find an item in the classroom.
Students Will: See things from a classmate’s point of view and use explicit directions to help her find the missing airplane.
Zoo U Game Context: Players look through a telescope and use walkie talkies to guide a classmate to find Podi’s (Zoo U character) lost toy airplane.
- Optional: Give each student a printed walkie talkie (or real ones if this is being completed at home or recess!). The fake walkie talkies add a fun element that will remind students they can only use words, not gestures, in this game. And for students that are playing Zoo U, it will remind them of the Zoo U scene.
- Give Student #1 the printed plane (or other classroom item). Student #2 should turn around and close her eyes, or step out into the classroom.
- While Student #2 has her eyes closed or is out of the room, Student #1 hides the plane somewhere in the room, then comes back to stand next to Student #2.
- Student #2 must walk at least 10 steps away, then turn to face Student #1. Students should be facing each other at all times.
- Student #1 must now give his partner directions to find the plane, according to her perspective. For example, if the plane is to Student #2’s left, he needs to tell his partner to go to her right. If the plane is in front of a trashcan from Student #2’s perspective, he should tell his partner that it is behind the trashcan.
- Remind Student #1 that he cannot make any gestures, he can only use words to help his partner find the plane.
- When Student #2 has successfully found the plane, have the students switch roles and repeat.
Model the activity for the students before they play on their own. Be sure to model how explicit directions, like “take 5 steps to your right,” are better than vague instructions, like “go right.”