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  • Perspective - Intermediate High

    Lesson Information

    Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes

    Students will...

    1. practice how to mindfully shift their perspectives.
    2. can explain a different perspective than their own.

    Language Learning Outcomes

    Students will...

    1. actively participates in conversations through proper responses.
    2. support ideas and opinions with facts, examples, and reasons.

    Materials Needed


    We come from all walks of life, meaning we have different types of jobs and are from different levels of society. No matter how similar we think we are to one another, there will be times that you see a difference in how we view or think about things. The way of thinking is called “perspective”; you have different perspectives than others because of your personality type and experiences. 

    While respecting one another’s perspectives, it is also important to know that we can mindfully change our perspectives. We face setbacks and challenges as we learn a new language; it is normal to feel discouraged at times of difficulty. Putting things in perspective can motivate us and make us feel more positive, which will help us move forward and progress on this journey.

    Activate Background Knowledge

    Ask students to answer the following questions as a class.

    • What does the word “perspective” mean?
    • Have you and your friends ever had different opinions on the same topic because of your different perspectives? Describe that experience.
    • What do you think shapes our different perspectives?

    Explain to students that the following pictures are examples of different perspectives. Ask students to explain the difference between what each person in the following pictures sees with a partner.

    • Slides 2 and 3 (Link)

    Ask students what the artist thinks about the person in each picture. 

    • Slides 5 and 6 (Link)

    Ask students if there is a right or wrong answer. Explain to students that there is no right or wrong perspective; it depends on what we choose to focus on. Putting our attention on the right place can help us stay motivated and positive.

    Activity 1: Listening/Speaking

    Explain to students that very often we only focus on the things we choose to focus on. Ask students to count how many times the ball is passed by players wearing white in the following video: 

    The Monkey Business Illusion


    Ask students the following questions:

    • How many times was the ball passed?
    • Did you see the gorilla in the video?
    • Did you see a player left in the middle of the game?

    Explain to students that sometimes perspective stops us from noticing things. If we are too focused on one thing, we won’t see others. This doesn’t only apply to physical things but situations as well. For example, if you fail a test, you might struggle to appreciate other positive things such as a nice meal or lovely weather. Ask students to discuss the following question with a partner.

    • Have you ever had an experience where you are too focused on one thing that you were not able to see other better things?
      • Ex. One day my kids went to bed very late because we arrived home a lot later than usual. I was sad because I felt like a bad mother. 
    • What have you learned from that experience?
      • Ex. However, as I looked at the pictures I took of them, I realized that staying up late was not that bad. My kids had so much fun that day.

    Activity 2: Speaking 

    The things that we focus on may not always be good; they can sometimes be illusions. Ask students what illusions mean. Illusions are often false (not real) ideas or beliefs; they are things that are or are likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses. Ask the students to look at the following pictures and share with the class what they see.

    • Slides 8 to 10 (Link)

    Ask students to share with the class what they hear in the following video: 

    Yanny or Laurel video: which name do you hear? – audio


    Ask students to stare at the three dots in the middle and then look at a blank white surface. 

    • Slide 12 (Link) (They should see Jesus when they look at a blank white surface.)

    Ask students the following question:

    • What do these pictures or illusions have to do with perspective?

    Explain to students that illusions can make us only see one thing; it can sometimes blind us from seeing the truth or looking at things from another perspective. These illusions can be distractions, not allowing us to look on the bright side.

    Activity 3: Speaking

    Apart from illusions, another thing that makes us have a set perspective is our background. How we see things are mostly shaped by our educational backgrounds and upbringings. Display the following four words on the board and have each student decide which word doesn’t fit with the others. Ask a few students to share which they picked and why.

    • dog, cat, donkey, dragon


    1. The dragon is different because it is the only one that isn’t real.
    2. The cat is different because it starts with C.
    3. The donkey is different because it’s the only one that has a y in it.
    4. The cat is different because it’s the only one that doesn’t grow taller than a person’s knee height. 

    Put students in groups of 2-4 and give each group an odd-one-out sheet. Ask students to skim through the paper and discuss the unfamiliar words before they start. Show them pictures of the word if they do not know its meaning.

    • Students will first go through each line and choose which is different. 
    • Then as a group, they will go through each of the lines and take turns explaining which is different.

    After the activity, ask students to answer the following questions: 

    • Were your group’s opinions different from yours? 
    • Did you have a change of perspective because of someone else’s opinion? 

    Explain to students that even though our perspective is shaped by our backgrounds, we can mindfully switch our perspectives or gain an understanding of other perspectives by sharing opinions intellectually. Sometimes we may even be enlightened by others’ unique perspectives!

    Activity 4: Speaking

    The following activity is a way how we can be enlightened by others’ perspectives.

    Draw a single black dot on the whiteboard and ask the students what they see. Odds are that they will say a black dot or a black dot on a whiteboard. Explain that the black dot represents all the bad things in our life and the white background represents all the good things in our life. 

    Ask students the following questions:

    • How can we focus on the white more than the black dot?
    • Does the dot ever go away? Why?
    • What if we erase it? (Sometimes the eraser is bad, and sometimes we don’t have an eraser.)
    • What if we turn the dot into a beautiful drawing? (Like a flower or something else.)

    If you were the one who only saw the black dot, wasn't it a wakening moment to realize that there is more white than black on the board?

    For more on this exercise, refer to The Black Dot Exercise

    Activity 5: Listening/Speaking 

    It is good to know everyone’s perspectives, but sometimes we don’t get to know a story from everyone’s point of view. Have students watch the following video and show them the questions before that.

    Snack Attack


    Ask students to answer the following questions with a partner.

    • How did you feel when the man started eating the cookies? Why? 
    • How did you feel when the old lady saw the cookies in her purse? 
    • Whose perspective did we see in the video? 
    • Tell the story from the man’s perspective in partnerships.

    Activity 6: Speaking

    Explain to students that sometimes we get sad or angry at someone, and we are so focused on our own perspective that we forget to see things from another perspective. Ask students to follow the instructions:

    1. Recall a difficult situation you experienced with another person (i.e., a disagreement, a fight, an offense).
      (Ex. My friend, Mary, said she’d borrow me her storybook. My other friend, Denise, got really mad at me because she also wanted to read the book, but she had to wait until I finished.)
    2. Write down your feelings and thoughts about the situation for a couple of minutes on a piece of paper.
      (Ex. I think she was very childish. She could just wait until I finish the book to start reading. She stopped talking to me afterward. That made me angry!)
    3. Pause and notice how you feel.
    4. Re-write the story while thinking about the other person’s thoughts, emotions, and perspective.
      (Ex. Denise might have asked for the book first. She might feel offended that I got to read the book first even though I didn’t ask for it first.)
    5. Pause and notice how you feel.
    6. Reflect on how shifting perspectives can mindfully change your feelings.
      (Ex. Now as I have thought from my friend’s perspective, I understand why she was angry. It makes sense why she stopped talking to me. I feel calmer as I think from her perspective.)

    Activity 7: Meditation

    This meditation explains why perspective is so important. Watch this meditation video and follow along. Ask students to pay attention to the general idea of the video and think if those tips can help them as they are watching the video.

    Headspace | Meditation | Changing Perspective


    • Talk with partners about what you have learned from the video or if you think that you can help them.

    Invite students to meditate on their own at home. Ask them to write down their thoughts or changes of perspectives throughout the week and be ready to share that with the class.

    Changing our perspectives can help us gain an understanding of others and feel more relieved from difficult situations. It can help us feel more positive and motivated to move forward! If we practice this skill in language learning, it can help us move forward with positivity despite all challenges.


    Look for examples of perspective in the following video. Be prepared to share the following questions with the class tomorrow.

    Change Your Perspective and Change Your Story | Toya Webb | TEDxDelthorneWomen  


    • What did she experience that made her mindfully change her perspective?
    • How did changing her perspective change her?
    • Have you ever had a similar experience?
    • What are your thoughts on this video?



    Share their responses with a partner.

    Change Your Perspective and Change Your Story | Toya Webb | TEDxDelthorneWomen


    • What did she experience that made her mindfully change her perspective?
    • How did changing her perspective change her?
    • Have you ever had a similar experience?
    • What are your thoughts on this video?


    Discussion question: “What is behind your eyes holds more power than what is in front of them.” – Gary Zukav

    • What does this quote mean to you? 
    • How can you apply this quote to your life?


    Discussion question: “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” - Alphonse Carr

    • What does this quote mean to you? 
    • How can you apply this quote to your life?

    This content is provided to you freely by BYU-I Books.

    Access it online or download it at https://books.byui.edu/PositivePsychologyintheClassroom/perspective_intermediate_high.