Value: Perspective Taking

Time: 10 minute story, 40+ minute art project

Appropriate Ages: 3-100


  • Book: They All Saw a Cat, by Brendan Wenzel

  • 5 pieces of paper for each participating child or student

  • pencils

  • art media of your choice- crayons, markers, colored pencils, chalk, or paints



  1. Read the story once all the way through without interrupting or asking questions. Once finished, re-read the story, and at the following points in the story, ask these discussion questions:

This activity integrates literacy with:






Why does the cat look so different to the dog,

the cat, and the fox?


Why does this picture look the way it does?


This picture looks totally different than the other pictures. Why is that?


Is one of the perspectives more "accurate" than the rest? Why or why not?  Who gets to decide which perspective is the most accurate?


Is what the cat sees the real him?

Would it help the cat to think about how others see him?

Would it hurt the cat to consider how others view him?

Do the following extension activity based on age level, desired focus, and desired activity time:

3-4 years old, self reflecting- 10 min

Have the child illustrate using markers, crayons, paints, or colored pencils what a cat looks like to them. Does the cat seem nice? Scary? Lovable? Annoying? Why do they think this way about cats? Encourage them to make their cat look like how they view cats.

5-10 years old, developing empathy and understanding of others- 40 min

Challenge the children to create another book like this one, instead illustrating how 5 different people or animals would view another being. For example, how would 5 different perspectives see:

  • a cow

  • a lion

  • a mosquito

  • a dog

  • themselves

Encourage the children to consider the perspectives of:

  • smaller animals

  • bigger animals

  • animals who like them

  • animals who don't like them

  • their own perspective

  • the perspective of humans who may be scared or annoyed by them

  • the perspective of humans who may be infatuated with or who adore them

10-13 years old, exploring themselves introspectively, social/emotional intelligence, self confidence- 40 min- 

Challenge the kids to create another book like this one using an illustration media of their choice, instead illustrating how 5 different people may view the kid in their life. Encourage them to consider the view of:

  • Their best friend

  • Their parents

  • A younger sibling

  • A teacher

  • A doctor

  • A kid at school they never talk to

  • A child their own age from another part of the world, such as China

  • Their grandparents

  • Their own perspective


Once the illustrations are completed, discuss why different people may view them differently.

  • Does everyone have a valid reason for seeing them the way they do?

  • Is there something the child could do to help others have a more positive perspective of themselves?

  • Are there situations where there is nothing you can do to change another persons' negative perspective? In these cases, does their perspective matter? What can we do to move forward positively even if someone else continues to view us negatively?

  • Is it important to make sure everyone views us positively?

  • Whose perspective matters the most?

  • Can we be happy no matter what other people think of us?

11-18 years old, considering all perspectives surrounding historical issues, current event issues, or hot-button topics, academic setting- 60 min-

Have the kids/students create a new book using the illustration media of their choice featuring five different perspectives surrounding a person, country, or an issue, such as the following:

  • Jewish people in WW2 Europe. Consider the perspectives of:

    • Nazis​

    • Average Christian German citizen

    • Americans

    • Jewish Children

    • Jews in other countries, such as Russia or America

    • Close family friends/neighbors

    • People who employ Jews

    • People employed by Jews

  • Hitler. Consider the perspectives of:

    • Pre-WW2 Germans​

    • German Christian citizens

    • Nazi soldiers

    • American soldiers

    • Jehovah's Witnesses

    • Jews

    • Russians

  • Mexican Immigrants currently immigrating. Consider the perspectives of:

    • The current US government and administration​

    • Border patrol

    • The Mexican government

    • Mexican families remaining in Mexico

    • Children of Mexican immigrants

    • Potential American employers of immigrants

    • Employers of immigrants who leave Mexico

    • Drug Cartels/Gangs along the border

  • Palestinians in modern day Israel. Consider the perspectives of:

    • Palestinians themselves​

    • Arabs living in Iran

    • Jewish Israeli citizens

    • Muslim Israeli citizens

    • Americans

    • Jews living in Europe

    • Israeli soldiers

    • Palestinian children

    • Palestinian soldiers

  • An average American citizen, such as the student themself. Consider the perspectives of:

    • A Chinese citizen​

    • A North Korean Citizen

    • A Cuban citizen

    • A Russian citizen

    • A Liberian Citizen

    • A Puerto Rican citizen

    • A Canadian citizen

    • A Mexican citizen

    • An Indian citizen

    • A citizen of Tuvalu

Discuss why so many negative and positive perspectives can revolve around a single person or issue. Consider:

  • Does one perspective matter more than another?

  • How can we use many perspectives to make decisions?

Ages 13+, spiritual/humanistic setting, focus on empathy and compassion- 20 min

(This may work well in a community lecture, a church class, etc)

1. Tell students to think of someone they truly despise. Rather than illustrate this, write down using 5-8 descriptors how you view this person, based on how they treat you or make you feel

2. Next, challenge them to continue thinking of that same person through the lens of:

  • Someone who admires them

  • Someone they significantly help

  • Their mother

  • Their child

3. Ask how considering another perspective can help build empathy and compassion for our fellow human being.

4. If in a Bible-based church setting, consider telling the story of the Good Samaritan.