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Activity 2: Matter of Perspective (10 minutes), Session 13: A Matter of Perspective

In "Love Connects Us," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • An assortment of everyday items of different sizes and colors (for example: a set of keys, an aluminum can, a flashlight, a CD case, a bag of candy or chips)
  • A large tray to hold the items
  • A low table

Preparation for Activity

  • Display the everyday objects on the tray.
  • Set a low table where there is room the entire group to gather around in a circle. Place the tray of objects on a table.

Description of Activity

Invite participants to gather in a circle around the table so each person can see the tray of everyday objects. Encourage participants to call out, popcorn-style, the names of some of the objects.

Then ask participants to walk around the table, while staying in their circle, until each person is standing opposite the spot where they started. Ask them how their perspective has changed:

  • What do you see now? How is your view different?
  • In what ways do any particular objects appear different, now that you have a different viewpoint?
  • Do the same objects stand out for you as when you were on the other side of the table?
  • Are any smaller objects hidden by larger objects when seen from this angle?

Now encourage participants to bend down or sit on the floor where they are, so they need to look up to see the tray of objects. Ask them again what has changed about their perspective:

  • How do the objects appear any different from this viewpoint?
  • Do the same objects stand out for you as they did on the other side of the table?
  • Are any objects hidden now, because you cannot see from this angle? If this was the only perspective you had of these objects, would you even know they were there?

Now encourage participants to lie down on the floor where they are. Invite them to consider this new perspective:

  • How do the objects appear any different from this viewpoint?
  • What, if any, objects are you still able to see from here?
  • If this was the only perspective you had of the objects, would you even know some of them were there?

Now ask the participants to stand once again in a circle around the table. Remove the tray from the table and set it on the floor in the middle of the circle. Encourage participants to share their perceptions now from high above the tray:

  • How do the objects appear any different from this viewpoint?
  • Do the same objects stand out for you as they did before?
  • How does this "big picture" perspective differ from how it looked when you were lying on the floor looking up at the tray?
  • What might this "big picture" perspective mean for someone who is trying to figure out how many objects are on the tray? Is it the most "true" perspective? Why, or why not?

Including All Participants

If any participants have mobility restrictions, consider having them assist you by directing the others to stand up, sit, or lie down. They can also be the one to call on volunteers to respond to questions about each new perspective.

You can offer the gist of this activity to a person with limited mobility by holding the tray of objects directly in front of them, high above them, and on the ground below them, inviting them each time to consider the new perspective with the questions provided. Use a similar method with a participant who cannot see: Guide them to touch the tray first when it is right in front of them and they can feel all the objects, and then when you hold it a bit higher and they can feel only the bottom of the tray.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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