Why is Perspective Taking so important?
Perspective Taking is so important for children to learn because they need perspective taking skills to relate to others, to make others feel comfortable around us, and to know how to influence others in a positive way.
To help children develop and improve their perspective taking skills, we need to first explain what perspective taking is, then provide many examples of situations which would require good perspective taking, in order to have a successful social experience.
In other words, define it and practice it.
Perspective Taking is understanding something from someone else’s point of view.
*Note: You do not have to agree with someone, to understand their perspective. Understanding someone’s perspective means that you can cognitively understand why they are doing, thinking or saying something; but it does not mean that you have to agree with it.
For example; if a student can take the perspective of their teacher, they may understand that she gives homework because she wants her students to practice their academic skills. This doesn’t mean the student agrees that they should be given homework.
I have created a fun and interactive Perspective Taking activity set to help my students learn and practice this important skill.
These 4 differentiated SOCIAL SCENARIO activities help children who struggle to understand the importance of considering other’s perspectives.
With these activities, children will practice perspective taking using a wide variety of social scenarios which will help them to be more thoughtful and make better decisions in real life social situations.
This activity includes 6 Behavior Charts (1 Color K-2nd, 1 Color 3rd-5th, 1 B/W K-2nd, 1 B/W 3rd-5th, 2 Editable)
Here is an example of a K-2nd grade behavior chart in color.
Here is an example of a K-2nd grade behavior ~challenge chart.
This chart is great to use with students who are ready for a little extra discussion.
The “It Depends” column allows students to discucss situations where there isn’t one right answer, but… they have to “defend” their choice to put a card in the “it depends” column.
I LOVE options!
Here are two behavior charts that your 3rd-5th graders may like…
And here is the challenge behavior chart…
Here is a sample of some of the scenario cards…
There are 24 Positive Behavior Scenario Cards (can be used with k-5) and 24 Negative Behavior Scenario Cards (can be used with k-5)
There is also a page of EDITABLE cards for you to write your own scenarios to individualize to specific students and situations.
Discussion Cards for k-2nd and 3rd-5th
This activity includes 18 Discussion Cards appropriate for k-2nd grade/ability,18 Discussion Cards appropriate for 3rd-5th grade/ability
and 1 page of EDITABLE cards for you to write your own scenarios to individualize to your students.
Thought Bubble and Speech Bubble Visuals (To be used with any of the scenario cards)
Students listen to scenario cards and then, write in the thought bubble, what they think the person in the scenario was thinking. Next, in the speech bubble, they write what they think would be a better way the person in the scenario could have said what he/she said.
This is a great way to help students who are sensitive to criticism and benefit from learning skills by discussing someone else, vs. talking about their own behavior.
Here is a sample of activity 4 Question Cards…
This activity includes 18 Question Cards appropriate for k-2nd grade/ability, 18 Question Cards appropriate for 3rd-5th grade/ability
and 1 page of EDITABLE cards for you to individualize to your students.
A Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down Visual to use with the activity. Kids love using the Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down cards. You can use them as is or you can cut them out and glue them to a popsicle stick for students to hold up.
You can also use these handy visuals to help teach the concept and to put on your bulletin board 🙂
Who Can Teach Perspective Taking Skills?
Social Workers/Psychologists: Can teach children who struggle to understand other’s perspectives and have difficulty interacting with others in social situations such as their classroom peers, sports groups, outside of school activities.
Special Educators: Can teach students on their caseload who struggle to understand other’s perspectives. They tend to think only their point of view is important or correct and tend to get into arguments with peers and adults and tend to say offensive things to others due to a lack of perspective taking.
Regular Education Teachers: Can teach students who struggle to understand other’s perspectives and may be having social challenges in the classroom during group projects or on the playground engaging in group games and activities.
SLP’s: Can teach students on their case load for social pragmatics. Great for students who need to increase and improve their language and behaviors in social situations.
These activities lead to great discussions and really encourage children to think about others in a wide variety of social situations.
They are great to use in social groups, friendship groups and lunch bunches. They can be used as a whole class lesson too!
I created these activities because my students were struggling to understand a variety of everyday social situations and how to handle them. The practice and discussion is very helpful for them.
I hope it can be helpful for your students as well!
Could you use some visuals to help you teach your students important perspective taking terms? Grab this set of 5 beautiful posters by filling out the form below.
Thanks So Much and Happy Teaching!
Cindy ~Socially Skilled Kids