How a small change, with very little effort on the teacher’s part, leads to a delightfully complex task that can suitably challenge students of all ability levels.
All AboutMultiple Perspectives
Let’s write a persuasive essay about one holiday from the point of view of another holiday’s “mascot.” For example, what would the Easter Bunny think about Christmas, how would Santa feel about Valentine’s Day, and what would a Turkey have to say about St. Patrick’s Day?
It’s essential to teach our students to think flexibly and consider multiple points of view. Flexible thinking leads to product innovation, diplomacy between nations, and advances in science. School, however, often encourages students to settle into a “one right answer” mindset.
Much like twisting the lens of a camera, a simple shift of focus adds an immediate layer of complexity and novelty that excites students. It gives them a new way to engage in grade-level curriculum, and doesn’t take hours of work from teachers.
Looking at calendars throughout history is an interesting way to explore multiple perspectives. Nothing is as ingrained in our lives as seven day weeks, twelve months, and 365 days per year. Challenge your students’ perceptions by investigating various solar, lunar, and lunisolar calendars.
Do your gifted learners use the complexity tool of “multiple perspectives” to analyze stories, problems, and historical events? Here’s a TED Talk about real life multiple perspectives that will make your students (and you!) reconsider basic assumptions.