Shifting Viewpoints in the Classroom | Part 2

This is Part 2 of a 4-part series about teaching children to understand and manage their attention.

 PART 1  |  PART 2  |  PART 3  |  PART 4

Scenario: You are in a children's classroom. You are their teacher.

You have just asked your students the unfathomable.

You have asked if they would like to learn how to make something real that has not existed for them yet. Very curious they have responded, “Yes.”  

You pull a hidden and very strange bottle of lemonade, from France, out of a bag. This bottle is new to them; they've never seen anything like it. It has a strange shape, different markings, weird closure. They became very interested. You ask them to play along with you for a couple of minutes and describe the bottle out loud, in detail, and try to find some aspect nobody else has discovered. Determinedly, the focus and speak out many details. 

One at a time they relay their discoveries from their examination of the object.

The bottle of lemonade becomes more and more real to the entire group. They become very present with their attention all moving in the same direction... the feeling is one of alignment, interest, and connection. You ask them to share what happens the more they place your attention on the bottle... to notice if there is a difference from when they had no attention on the bottle.

They report in a variety of ways:

  • "I feel connected to it." "
  • "I see things I didn't see before." 
  • "It's more real to me now."

You ask them to close their eyes and see if the bottle is still real for them.

They close their eyes and check. They answer, “Yes it’s still there.

You then ask them, "How did you make something real that didn’t exist five minutes ago?” They answer, “We gave it our attention, we focused on it!” “Yes!” you exclaim.

Then you lead them to more discovery.

You do this by asking, "What has your attention been on lately?" Someone shouts, "The fire." 

[You knew that there had been a devastating fire in the area the day before. Several homes had burned down and many of the children's families were affected. Note that you could replace the subject of the fire with anything of importance to the group or an individual... success in any area of life, getting good grades, having friends, a worry or any limiting idea.]

What happens next works on everything... you'll see in Part 3... coming soon...

Choosing is fundamental to creating,

Posted by Holly Riley.