Content Area: Feelings and Emotions/Social-Emotional Literacy Grade Level: 3+
Objective: To discriminate between observations and evaluations Group Size: Adapt either for pairs or cooperative groups
Time: 40-45 minutes Materials: A copy of worksheet, “Observation or Evaluation?” for each pair or cooperative group (attached). Also, construction paper, scissors, glue, and a pencil or pen (for each child or to share). Optional materials are chart paper and markers of different colors. During the discussion phase (Step 4) it is best when the teacher reinforces visually on the chalkboard, whiteboard, or using chart paper.
Social-Emotional Vocabulary: observation, evaluation, conflict, disagreement
Background Information: An observation relies on our senses (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling) to talk about a behavior or an event. Observations of behavior are objective, describing what we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. Observations are also neutral, that is, they do not judge in terms of good/bad or right/wrong. Evaluations, on the other hand, are always a subjective (personal) experience, and they strongly influence both the way we perceive and the way we interpret the behavior or event. Our evaluations are tied to our feelings, specifically what we like and dislike. If we agree and approve the behavior or event, we judge it positively, but if we do not like and/or disapprove the event, we judge it negatively.
Each time that we talk about a behavior or an event as good/bad, right/wrong, like/dislike, or love/hate, we stop being objective and descriptive and we start making evaluations and judgments. Most evaluations are also personal opinions. Children need to understand that, to handle conflict or disagreements between peers, it is important that they use observations of behavior, also known as observational language or facts.
Discussion Points/Questions: Discuss with children the benefits of using observation language (observations of behavior or facts) to describe conflictive events and/or disagreements. In addition, talk about the disadvantages of using evaluations or personal opinions. In particular, discuss how using evaluative language and judgments (e.g., “Frankie is weird!”) will not solve the problem, and almost invariably aggravates the conflict or disagreement. Help children find similarities between evaluations and opinions.
Evaluation: Assess this lesson in terms of both shared participation and oral participation.
Answer Key: 1. Evaluation 2. Observation 3. Observation 4. Evaluation 5. Evaluation/The first part of this statement, “Gregory thinks he is everybody’s boss” is also an inference 6.
Observation 7. Evaluation 8. Observation 9. Evaluation/This statement is also a false cause-and- effect equivalence (Because I do not get fractions rights, I must be stupid) 10. Observation 11. Evaluation 12. Observation 13. Evaluation 14. Observation 15. Evaluation 16. Observation 17. Evaluation 18. Evaluation 19. Evaluation 20. Evaluation
Observation or Evaluation? Sentence Strips
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