Footsteps: An Activity for Developing Empathy
April 13, 2017
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Snap Judgments Teach Peace Now

Making a Snap Judgment

In the following video, two people assume they know what the other person is thinking. They make snap judgments about each other. When you make a snap judgement it means that you have taken a mental position such as right or wrong, good or bad before having all the facts. When we do this we hurt other people unintentionally.

To prevent making snap judgments, try the following:

1.Do not act on the first thought that comes into your head.

2. Take your time. Inhale.

3. Observe the situation closely.

4. Mentally brainstorm at least three other explanations for the other person's behavior or actions.

5. If the situation allows start up a conversation.

Pre-Viewing Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever made an assumption about someone that turned out to be wrong?
  2. How did you feel?

Post-Viewing Discussion Questions

  1. What can be done to fix the situation?
  2. Do you think making snap judgments happens often? Why?
  3. How do your emotions affect the judgments you make?
  4. What are some ways you could prevent yourself from making a snap judgement?
  5. Can you find some examples of snap judgments that caused a problem in history? in politics? in your community? in your family?

Follow Up 

Read the book The Jacket by Andrew Clements. What assumptions does the one boy make? Why did he make these assumptions? What problems does this cause?  Upper Elementary


We welcome your thoughts and comments.

Teach Peace Now
Teach Peace Now
We offer books, activities, lesson plans, and ideas that teachers, parents, and students can use to promote values, attitudes and behaviors which encourage non-violent resolution of conflict, respect for human rights, democracy, intercultural understanding and tolerance.

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