Do you see what I see?
By Steve Hoggins
This is based on an unattributed drawing from the 23 October 1892 issue of Fliegende Blätter, a German humour magazine. It was made famous by Ludwig Wittgenstein in his Philosophical Investigations
For a similar session, please see: Ducks and Rabbits
2 exact copies of the duck rabbit picture. Search online for ‘Duck rabbit illusion’ I use the simple picture but you may want one of the more realistic ones.
Invent two characters (puppets work well). Tell them that one of the characters has a picture of his favourite animal. “It’s got long ears, soft fur and a small nose. It likes to eat carrots Can you guess what it is? Once the children have all chanted ‘a rabbit!’ Bring out the picture, ensuring you hold it with the ears pointing up so that it looks like a rabbit.
- Can someone point to its nose?
- Can someone point to its ears? Its eye?
- Give the picture to the child/puppet.
- The other character also has a picture of his favourite animal. So repeat the process with
- 'It has a long beak, no (visible) ears and it goes quack.
- Can you point at its beak, point at its eye and point at its neck etc?
Teaching point – seeing the problem
Pictures such as this require a bit of mental agility to see. Try looking up a few different illusions where a picture can be seen as 2 different things online.
You will only be able to see one of the images for quite some time or until the other is pointed out to you.
Children need support to do this so spend time carefully helping them.
Tell them what they are going to see before you show them the picture, only show them one at a time and point out the features that make it a rabbit/duck.
Once you have them clearly seeing a duck in one picture and a rabbit in the other you can then continue the story and when the pictures are mixed the children will suddenly see the problem (some may also get it before).
Continue the story:
One day when running for the bus with their pictures the two characters crash into each other and their pictures go spinning in the air, getting completely mixed up. One desperately wants to find his or her picture of a duck and the other won’t get on the bus with out her picture of a rabbit.
Mix up both pictures and put them face down.
Task Question: Can you pick up a picture and give it to the right person?
- Is it definitely a duck/rabbit?
- Can you show me the duck/ the rabbit?
- Can it be a duck if it has long ears?
- Can it be a rabbit and a duck?