Light Beyond the Shadows
Explore the concept of individual perspective and opinion to enhance empathy in making relationships.
What you’ll need: Two people, a blank wall in the sun or with a strong light that makes shadows
What’s it for?
This activity will ask you to practice seeing things from another person’s perspective. This will help you grow in empathy, your understanding of how things might feel or look to another person.
Notice how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and notice what’s going on inside your mind and body.
How are you feeling?
What are you thinking?
How does your body feel?
Find an area in your home where the sun is shining and you can create a shadow on the wall or onto the floor using your hands or body. Notice how you can move to change the shape of the shadows.
Sit next to your partner so that you can both see the wall with the shadows on it. Each of you should think of an animal (without sharing it with your partner). How could you make a shadow look like this animal, just using your hands and body?
Take turns performing your shadows for one another and trying to guess what the other person was trying to make. How many animals can you create for one another? Can you make people or objects in the shadows?
As you guess each other’s shadows, pay attention to the different kinds of ideas you each have, and how you make different choices. For example, one of you might make a shadow of a giraffe using just your hands, but your partner might use their whole body. Each person is unique in their thinking and ideas!
Next, imagine a scenario that you could act out using shadows you create with your hands. Can your partner guess what is happening? How can you show different emotions using the shapes and movements you make? Ask your partner how they would act out these ideas. How are they the same? How are they different?
Extra Activity: Can you create a story with your partner, using the shadows you create? Maybe you could create a story about a challenge you faced and overcame. How can you show the difficult feelings in the story? What do the shadows look like when the characters overcome the challenge?
When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:
How did you make your shadow shapes? Which was your favourite?
How did it feel when you were sharing your ideas?
Was it hard to guess your partner’s shadows? How were your ideas the same or different?
How were you able to share your thoughts and feelings using shadows?
What did you learn about seeing things from another person’s perspective?
This activity helps to think about our listening skills and how we relate to others by mirroring and copying movements, feelings and thoughts through story-telling.
Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? What can you take away to make you feel better about yourself from this activity?
If you would like to, share something about your experience with this activity with someone you live with! Ask the person who looks after you to send us an email if you have any questions or comments about the activity, or would like to send us any pictures (firstname.lastname@example.org). Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities!
Created by Sarah Kong © June 2020
Creative Arts Used: Art and Dance & Movement
Psychological Areas Explored: Emotional Wellbeing, Communication, Self-Exploration, Resilience
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These activities could be done by children of all ages, but some may need the support of their parent or carer to read the instructions or complete the activity safely.
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