students how to ‘step into someone else’s shoes.’ Here’s a peek at how I teach
show the appropriate social reactions and make conversation choices based on
To kick off the perspective taking activities in my speech room,
I start with a game I developed called “In Your Shoes.”
download includes 3 games: Problem Solving 1 & 2 and Perspective Taking.
The problem solving games include social situations that require the student to
identify a solution. I use this large graphic in the middle of the table to
remind the kids to identify the problem and the solution! The game cards are
tennis shoes with a social problem listed. For example: A new student came to school
today. He’s standing near the lunch line looking nervous.. What could you
level one cards are appropriate for students in grades k-4, but depending on
developmental level they may work for your older students as well. Level 2
problem solving includes social problems appropriate for students in grades
4-8. For example: Chad wants
to play football and be in band. They have practice afterschool at the same
time. What should he do?
perspective taking cards encourage kids to imagine themselves in someone else's
shoes! You can use them to open discussion about empathy and making decisions
based on others feelings. Theory of mind is such a difficult skill to teach,
but it's fun when it clicks! The lack of perspective taking skills can really
impact the kids ability to be sensitive to others and identify how others are
feeling and reacting in a conversation.
week after we play the ‘In Your Shoes’ game I start introducing a new way to
play the game. Each week I bring a shoe to school. I usually start with a shoe
that’s the opposite of my students. This year I started with my wedge sandal.
We talk about how MY perspective is different than their perspective. We talk
about different scenarios and each take a turn ‘walking in my shoes’. When we
play the game this day – we all answer as though they are the ‘teacher.’ During
the following day I will bring in a small child’s shoe and we will talk about
the perspective a preschooler.
we work through those perspectives that vary greatly from their own, I will
start bringing in kid shoes that tell a story. For example, I might bring in
shoes with braces indicating a child with a physical handicap. The next week I
will bring a pair that are very worn down and tell the story of someone who’s
family can’t afford new shoes for their child. I might even bring in my walking
cast this year!
possibilities are endless! How do you teach perspective taking?
CCC-SLP is a pediatric Speech Language Pathologist who works in a clinic and
school. She authors Speech Room News (SpeechRoomNews.blogspot.com) where she
shares what she’s doing in her Speech Room. Find her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SpeechRoomNews), Twitter (https://twitter.com/SpeechRoomNews) and Pinterest. (http://pinterest.com/JennaRayburn/)