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Analyzing Multiple Accounts of the Same Event or Topic: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 The Elephant & the Blind Men
  • 0:49 Billy's Story vs.…
  • 1:58 The 'Real' Story
  • 2:38 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mark Boster
Oftentimes there seems to be a discrepancy in different people's telling of the same event. So whom are you to believe? Sometimes you need to compare the different stories to come up with what really happened. That's what will happen in this lesson.

The Elephant & the Blind Men

There is an old story that comes from Asia that goes like this:

''Three blind men were led to an elephant and asked to describe it. The one holding its tail said that an elephant is like a rope. The man holding its trunk said that it was like a tree branch. The last man - who was holding a tusk - said it was hard and pointy like a spear.''

Who was right? They all were! Sometimes multiple accounts of a story are all true.

When an event happens and you have more one witness, the versions of the story may vary; these variations are called multiple accounts. To figure out the whole or correct story, we have to look at what is the same or different in each story.

Billy's Story vs. Sally's Story

''Mom,'' cried Sally as soon as she stepped inside the house. ''Billy was playing horseshoes, and for some reason, he decided to hit me with a huge rock. I didn't even do anything to him first. I was just sitting way up in the tree, and he threw a rock at me.''

''Billy,'' their mother called from the back door. ''Come here!''

Billy ran over to his mother. He couldn't wait to tell her his side of the story.

''Well,'' said Billy, ''I was in the yard playing horseshoes, and I threw one pretty hard. A pebble must have shot up and hit Sally on the leg. When she jumped down from the tree to come inside, she tripped and hurt her leg; that's why she's crying. I don't know how she tripped - she was only on the bottom branch.''

Let's explore what is the same and what is different about these stories, which may help us find out the real story:

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