Purpose: To illustrate to students that to communicate meaningfully we need first to understand the other person's point of view.
- Step 1: Show the attached cartoon to your class.
- Step 2: Ask the students, "What does the figure look like to the man?"
- Step 3: Ask students, "What does the figure in the middle of the table look like to the woman?"
- Step 4: Then ask, "Who is right?"
- Step 5: Explain to students that the idea for this cartoon came from an old Middle Eastern legend in which two princes were at war for many years. One prince looked at the image on the table and said it was a six while the other prince said it was a nine. For years the battle raged and then one day when the princes were seated at the table a young boy turned the tablecloth around and for the first time they could see the other's point of view. The war came to an end and the princes bacame firm friends.
- Step 6: Illustrate with an example from your own life in which something similar has happened in terms of you arguing with somebody simply because they'd had a different point of view.
- Step 7: Get students to work in small groups discussing how important it is to understand that many people disagree with us simply because they have a different point of view.
- Step 8: Debrief the student comments.
- Step 9: On a regular basis refer back to the six and nine on the cartoon.
NOTE: This simple cartoon can help students and teachers alike make a quantum leap in remembering that everyone has the right to have a different point of view from us.