It’s important to teach a child the difference between objective facts and subjective feelings. Not all people recognize or respect the distinction between what is and what they feel about what is, e.g. I hate broccoli. Broccoli is bad. Here are some exercises to reinforce the learning point by concentrating first on neutral observation before proceeding to personal associations and feelings:

 1. Look at a picture. Ask the student to describe in writing what he/she observes— (objective). Then ask what feelings the picture evokes—(subjective).

 2. Combine sensory language drills with objectivity/subjectivity awareness using the five senses. Ask him or her to write a sentence describing what they touch, taste, smell etc.( objective), then write what this sensation reminds them of or makes them feel (subjective).

  • Touch: Have the student reach in a bag containing any textured material such as gravel or corn meal. Objective/subjective feedback.
  • Taste: Blind taste any liquid (orange juice, syrup) followed by objective/subjective feedback.
  • Hearing: Eyes shut listen to distinctive sounds (squeeze toy, bouncing ball) followed by objective/subjective feedback.
  • Smell: In a plastic pouch douse cotton or paper towel with a disctinctive smelling liquid (vinegar, vanilla) followed by objective/subjective feedback.
  • Sight: Hold up either a common or an unusual object followed by objective/subjective feedback.

 3. Offer simple words: (police officer, shark, race car) and ask for an objective then a subjective sentence for each.

 Once again, this is all done in the interest of instilling a deep seated awareness of the difference between what something is and the feelings we associate with it.