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Perspective Taking Writing Tasks

To test children’s ability to understand that there are always many different perspectives two different writing assignments were created as pre- and post-test. Both tests have been tested with 48 children between of grade 4 and 5 in order to determine whether their difficulty levels are equal and whether they are not too easy for the target group. The measurement taken is a judgement of how many different perspectives are mentioned in the argument for a certain solution. Three perspectives that children could at least mention are Environment, Economy, and Wellbeing (as the ones present in the game). The places are fictive allowing the children to reflect freely upon the alternatives without being constrained by reality.

 

Task One – Water Supply

The number of inhabitants in the city Kingsville is increasing and has therefore a problem with its water supply. During some periods there is not enough water in the wells. There are several possible solutions to solve this problem, and the city would like to get your advice on which solution to choose:

  1. Drill deeper wells to take more water from the ground.
  2. Use the water from the sea and remove the salt.
  3. Buy water from the city Queenshight which is about 20 kilometers away and which has more than enough water.
  4. Make a dam in the river Fishing close to the city and build a new water supply.
  5. Restrict the inhabitants’ use of water.
  6. Reconstruct all public water systems in the city in order to recycle and clean the water so that it can be reused.A simple map of the area is given below:1

Describe what you would recommend the city and WHY. There is no single correct answer! If you think that there are alternative solutions or if you think you need more information to make a choice between several answers, you can also write this down, and say what kind of information you would need.

 

Task Two – Rubbish Dump

The rubbish dump of the city Wellhouse has become too small. There are several possible solutions to solve this problem, and the city would like to get your advice on which solution to choose:

  1. Build a new rubbish dump close the old one.
  2. Build a waste incinerator (where rubbish is burned) close to the city.
  3. Transport all waste to the city Sparrow, about 50 kilometers away, where they do not have 
any such problems.
  4. Give all inhabitants a waste container with different compartments to sort their rubbish for 
recycling. This way the amount of waste for the old rubbish dump can be decreased so that 
it is big enough.
  5. Give all inhabitants a limit for how much waste they are allowed to have. If they have more 
they will have to pay.
  6. Force all food shops in the city to refrain from using plastic bags and unnecessary packaging. 
All inhabitants must bring their own bags and containers.

A simple map of the area is given below:

2

 

Describe what you would recommend the city and WHY. There is no single correct answer! If you think that there are alternative solutions or if you think you need more information to make a choice between several answers, you can also write this down, and say what kind of information you would need.

Download the Perspective taking writing task document