Spatial Requirements: Regular classroom setup: little or no space required
Activity Type: Group
Grades: 3-12
Group Size: 2 or more
Time: 5 minutes

Introduction: When we change our lens, or “turn on the light” to see our problems differently, our ability to solve those problems increases. Note that if you are using the WhyTry Program, this activity, titled “Count the F’s,” is also used to illustrate The Wall unit.


  • Copies of a paper with a paragraph of text in which the letter “F” appears multiple times – one per person (Example can be found on the attached I Can See Clearly Now worksheet.)
  • Whiteboard and markers

Hand each student a copy of the paragraph and instruct the group to keep the papers face down until you say “Go.”  When you say “Go,” they have 15 seconds to turn their papers over and count the number of times the letter “F” appears in the paragraph.  When 15 seconds are up, the students must turn their papers face down once again.  Have the students close their eyes. Tell the students, “Raise your hand if you counted one ‘F.’” When these students have raised their hands, have them put their hand down, then ask, “How many of you counted two?” Continue until you reach the largest number. Write these results on the board. Note: There are eight “Fs” in the paragraph found on the worksheet.

Processing the Experience: 

  • Everybody was given the same paragraph. Why were there so many different responses when you were asked how many “Fs” you counted?
  • Why did some of you not see all of the “Fs”?
  • How can we change the lens through which we see our problems or challenges?
  • How does our perspective affect our ability to solve problems?
  • How does this activity relate to flipping the switch?
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