This is an exercise that requires keen observation skills and an active imagination. Experienced writers use highly developed observation skills to formulate ideas from which to write.Taking a ‘walk on the wild side’ invites students to explore the important aspect of point of view by imagining they are viewing the world from a different pair of eyes – a small child, a dog, the school principal, their sibling, etc.
(2) Invite students to imagine they are an animal or different person and write a short description of this animal or person in their notebooks.What do they look like? How do they feel today? What are they thinking about? What are their worries/concerns/joys?
(3) Ask students to take their notebooks outside or into the hall and make observations about what they see from this different perspective. Guide them with these considerations:
- What are the things that are standing out to you?
- What are some of the smells that you notice?
- What are some of the sounds you notice?
- On what different things are you focussing?
- How does the mood you are in affect what you are paying attention to, if you are a person?
- What are your primary reactions to your environment, if you are an animal?
(4) After the time needed to gather information, ask students to return to the class and write a descriptive paragraph on their ‘walk on the wild side,’ which reflects the point of view from the character they chose.
(5) Have students share their work in partners, small groups, or with the class.
(6) Ask students to reflect on what they learned from trying to view the world from a different perspective. Was it difficult to see the world from new eyes? Why is it important for writers to consider different points of view? How might a writer also use this knowledge with regards to audience?
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