Post By:

Kristine Spindler Denton

Created On:

May 13, 2024

Developing Empathy Through Perspective-Taking Lesson Plan and Activity

CASEL Standards

Self-Awareness

Social Awareness

Objective(s)

Students will be able to:

  • Analyze situations from multiple perspectives, demonstrate social awareness, and empathize with others
  • Demonstrate self-awareness by sharing their unique perspectives on various scenarios.

Assessment

Participation in classroom discussion

Responses from different viewpoints when given real-life scenarios

Reflection

Lesson Key Points

Understanding the importance of perspective-taking in building empathy and social awareness

Analyzing situations from multiple viewpoints

Demonstrating empathy by considering different perspectives in resolving conflicts or dilemmas

Introduction

Introduce the terms "perspective" and "perspective-taking."

  • Perspective: point of view
  • Perspective-taking: the ability to consider a situation from another person's point of view

Explain that perspective-taking is an essential skill for developing empathy and understanding others, which can help build stronger relationships and resolve conflicts more effectively.

Address the common misconception that one’s own perspective is the only valid viewpoint or that one perspective is wrong and another is right (fact vs. perspective).

Discussion

Encourage a student-led discussion of the scenario below, and allow students to practice perspective-taking.

You see two friends playing a game at recess. One friend wins the game and starts celebrating excitedly. The other friend seems upset and walks away without saying anything.

Ask students to take the following three perspectives: a friend observing the situation who wants to play next, the friend who won the game, and the friend who lost the game.

Work Period

Divide the students into four groups. Assign each group (or allow students to pick) one of the following scenarios to analyze and discuss from different perspectives.

Scenario 1 - During a group project, Student A is doing most of the work. Student B is asking questions, but not contributing to the work and is getting more quiet as the project continues. Student C is working hard, but their work is not on topic.

Scenario 2 - Student A accidentally bumps into Student B as they are hurrying down the hallway. Student B drops all their books and papers as Student A rushes away before the bell rings, not looking back.

Scenario 3 - Student A is being teased or bullied by Student B for their appearance. Student A has their head down and is trying to walk away. Student B is taunting them and continuing to tease them. Student C is standing nearby, but doesn’t say anything and nervously looks away.

Scenario 4 - A group of students is chatting and laughing in the library. A teacher approaches them and asks them to lower their voices because they are disrupting other students at a nearby table who are studying for an important test.

Invite the students to share their scenarios and the different perspectives they chose. Encourage them to share where they agreed and disagreed to foster respectful discourse, self-awareness, and social awareness

Closing

Ask students to write reflections about how considering multiple viewpoints can influence their actions and responses. Invite them to discuss how they can apply perspective-taking in their own lives

Access the downloadable Developing Empathy Through Perspective-Taking Lesson Plan here.

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