One of the simplest & most versatile tricks of the trade is to force the change of perspective and make the audience (in our case: learners) experience the story from someone else’s point of view.
A point of view in narration is basically who the narrator is. Perspective is the light this character sheds on what is happening in the story, how the narrator perceives the events. It’s the lens or prism through which the story is filtered.
And perspectives differ. To use some widely-known examples (fairy tales!) think Cinderella told from the perspective of one of the stepsisters or the father, torn between his daughter and the new relationship. Look at Little Red Riding Hood facts with a bit of a twist – the wolf is dead, Grandma is missing, Little Red Riding Hood was found wandering the woods wearing a fur coat, a shotgun dangling on her shoulder (thanks to 700 Activities for this idea).
In need of an example taken from a more serious works of art? Think Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead – a play by Tom Stoppard, who took two supporting characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and made them leads, at the same time turning Hamlet’s story into background events of minor importance.
And sometimes to observe the story through a different lens, instead of focusing on giving it a different angle, it is enough to zoom out and tell it from some distance. Like these photos do: http://www.boredpanda.com/famous-landmarks-zoomed-out/
How can it work? Have a look at „Pig the Dog” story told from the chef’s (Pardon: a delivery receiver’s!) perspective. The same story told from the dog’s (or the truffle’s!) perspective would be yet a completely different one.
People say there are two sides to every story. This quote from Robert Evans, an American film producer behind The Godfather, Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby, provides even more insight:
„There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth. And no one is lying.”
Let’s treat it as an encouragement to experiment with story perspectives.
Photo: Jeremy Perkins, unsplash.com