Perspective-Taking Visual

  • Situation

    I have a student who tends to make comments to classmates and teachers that result in hurt feelings, confusion, and ultimately avoidance (i.e. “Your shirt is ugly”, “This is stupid”, etc.) He seems to want to make friends and be liked by his teachers and classmates but these comments are really bothering the people around him. How can I help this student understand how his behavior affects others?

  • Summary

    Using the Perspective-Taking Visual (*see Process below) meet with your student and write his comments in the conversation balloon and possible thoughts of the other person in the thought bubble. Talk with him about the way his words might make others feel and what he could say instead.

  • Definition

    The Perspective-Taking Visual is a fun, cartoon-like format that enables students to see how their behavior may impact others. Some students have difficulty understanding that their words or actions might bother their classmates or teachers. When verbal discussions with the student aren’t effective, try a Perspective-Taking Visual to help him or her understand how others feel.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 6-10, 11-13, 14-17, 18+
    • Planning Effort: Moderate
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites

    Verbal skills, reading skills

  • Process

    1. Draw two stick figures: one with a conversation balloon and the other with a thought bubble. (Laminate the drawing so that it can be re-used with a dry-erase marker for different situations.)

    2. Meet with your student and write his comment in the conversation balloon.

    3. Help him come up with possible thoughts the other figure might be having in response to his comment. Write these in the thought bubble and talk with your student about each feeling.

    4. In a second frame, draw the same two stick figures and conversation balloons and thought bubbles. This time, however, brainstorm with your student about positive things he could say instead, and help him come up with possible feelings and responses for the other stick figure.

    5. Use this format as a prevention strategy to help your student enter a social interaction successfully and/or as an intervention strategy to help him understand what went wrong and what he could do differently next time.

  • Documents and Related Resources

    Talking bubbles PDF (link to Jill Kuzma’s website – talking bubbles visuals)


    If you have questions or concerns about the Watson Institute’s use of this information, please contact us.