Feeling confused.com!

This week we have been thinking about what it means to be feeling confused.

We started the lesson by being asked to close our eyes and put out our hands. We were being set the challenge of working out what an object was using only the senses smell and touch. The item we were asked to identify was passed from pupil to pupil and all held onto their own thoughts about what they suspected the object might be. Once all members of the class had been afforded the opportunity to touch and smell our unknown item we went round the group asking for ideas…

“Apple”. “Apple”. “Apple”. “Orange”.

These were the responses of the ELP Jury. On being asked why each had come to this conclusion the responses were…

“It felt like and had the smell of an apple”.

“I could smell apple”.

“It was the size of an apple and it had an apple smell”.

“It felt like and had the smell of an orange”.

How could this be? Everyone was very confused. Those who all thought it was an apple were confused that anyone could possibly think the object was an orange. The person who was certain it was an orange was equally stunned that anyone could possibly think the object was an apple. They were also incredibly brave in saying something that was so obviously against the flow of thought of the majority!

We decided to do the exercise again – just to make sure.

Once more we passed the object round. Once more we felt it and had a sniff. Again we made judgement calls as to what the object might be.

“Apple”. “Apple”. “Apple”. “Orange”.

This time we were asked to open our eyes and tell each other how we felt.

“I am a bit confused.com!” said one pupil.

“It is an apple so I don’t know why someone thinks its an orange. I am confused!”

Confusion most certainly reigned.

We revealed to all what had been going on…

An apple wrapped in tin foil was produced for all to have a look at. Yes, there had been an apple being passed round the group! One face fell whilst others looked relieved. At this point another tin foil wrapped object was produced from behind the back of Mrs B. This time it was a chocolate ORANGE!

We quickly worked out that whilst most of us had indeed been passed an apple covered in tin foil to identify, one unsuspecting individual had been given a chocolate orange instead. All of the responses during the activities had been valid and correct!

We had an interesting chat about the activity – what had been confusing, what had been challenging and why it had actually been really brave of our orange pupil to say what they thought when all around were saying something quite different. We discussed how being confused makes us feel – and what situations arise to make us feel this way.

Using our character Muddled Mike we made up our own story about feeling confused, each taking turns to make Muddled Mike muddled. Finally, we discussed what strategies we might employ to help us manage confusion…

  • we could use our planners to help us remember homework or trips
  • we could ask for help from someone we trust or someone who is an expert
  • we could plan ahead for any new event – preparing ourselves for change
  • we could use a timetable to help us know where to be and at what time
  • we could practise doing difficult things

and many more interesting and excellent ideas!

By the end of the lesson we felt a lot less “confused.com!”

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