By Asmita Sharma
Understanding the concept of perspective is very important for young minds. Each individual has their own perspective. There is a compelling need to develop in students the disposition towards seeking and considering the points of views of others as it is core to the process of collaboration. In today’s world, we must engage, collaborate and work together with others in order to be successful.
The Unit of Inquiry for Term 4 was titled “Everyone Has a Story to Tell” under the Transdisciplinary theme ‘How We Express Ourselves’. The Central idea was ‘Stories can help me reflect on ideas and feelings’. We started the unit with a brainstorming and mind mapping session on the important elements of a story (Characters, Setting, Plot, ending).
“Jack and the Beanstalk”: diverse Perspectives-:
We began the inquiry by exploring the concept of perspective with sessions involving different versions of a familiar story -Jack and the Bean stalk by Alan Garner. One of the main objectives of this engagement was for children to identify the point of view in each story and appreciate multiple perspectives. Additional objectives included children creating their own versions using beginning, middle and ending guidelines and presenting it to their peers, sharing of opinions and narratives (reflection).
The many versions of Jack and the Beanstalk story that students had the opportunity to listen to in order to develop an understanding of the concept of ‘Perspective’
It involved children applying multiple intelligences, learning about content diversity and fostered higher order thinking skills as they came up with a plot for their stories. It also helped to capitalize on children’s individuality and created authentic, meaningful experiences and facilitated a deep understanding of the challenging and abstract concept of perspective as everyone had the opportunity to create stories based on their individual and unique thought process. During all these sessions children tried to organize their feelings, thoughts and opinions employing imagination and creativity while writing their stories, in the construction of puppets and other story art. They used varied media available in the class to create their stories. Some preferred to illustrate their stories (Visual intelligence), some made puppets, and some wanted to sing and dance (musical and kinaesthetic) while presenting their stories.
They were invited to present their versions to the rest of the class. They found it quite challenging to do so initially but gained a healthy respect eventually for all those who put on a show (Inter Personal intelligence). They enjoyed each other’s versions and had some feedback as well as to what they liked about the story, what could have been better or what else could be added to make it more interesting.
Extension-Puppet Show for the school community:
To capitalize on the concept of perspectives formed by listening to the versions, children were invited to extend this engagement by presenting their stories as a puppet show for other classes and their families. Children were communicators and open-minded through sharing their own ideas and views and also appreciating their friend’s stories.
Often it is very difficult to explain “perspective” to 4-5 year old children. This engagement worked well as the students understood this complex concept in a very simple and effective way. Overall the whole process was engaging and a memorable experience for everyone involved.
Briggs, Raymond. Jim and the Beanstalk. Puffin, 1997.
Garner, Alan. Jack and the Beanstalk. Picture Lions, 1993.
Laird, Elizabeth. Jack and the Beanstalk. Mammoth, 2000.
Osborne, Mary Pope. Kate and the Beanstalk. Aladdin, 2005.
Vagnozzi, Barbara. Jack and the Beanstalk. Childs Play International Limited, 2005.
Walker, Richard. Jack and the Beanstalk. Barefoot Books, 2006.
Whitehall, Jane. Jack and the Beanstalk. Mighty Minds, 1993.