Examining Point Of View

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SWBAT identify the point of view of the story teller in text.

Big Idea

Who is telling the story? Students analyze whose eyes the reader is looking through.

Introduction to Points of View

20 minutes

I begin this lesson by showing a video about ▶ The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.  This story is told from a different perspective than the original version.  I preface the video by asking students to pay attention to who they think might be telling this story. Afterwards, we discuss who students might think is telling this story.  Most students will identify this version as the Wolf's perspective.

However, there is more to point of view than knowing who is telling the story.  Students are about to learn more about the nuances of the narrator's point of view.  I begin this introduction by showing and discussing my Promethean Flip Chart about different aspects relating to the narrator's point of view.

We watch a ▶ Point of View & Narrator's Perspective video explaining the narrator's point of view that is embedded in the flipchart.

Because my students are high level readers, I decided that it is important they know how to distinguish Points of View, not just identify who is telling the story. My students will encounter complex Point of Views in the higher level texts that they will read, so it makes sense to amp up this standard's rigor. Common Core Standards usually addresses this concept in fourth grade.  However, many of my high achieving and gifted students are reading at fourth grade or higher levels.

Story Analysis

20 minutes

Using the information learned from the first section of this lesson, students analyze the points of view of the "True Story of the Three Little Pigs".  Students are quick to come to the conclusion that this story is the First Person Point of view as told by the wolf. 

We analyze this story using a Graphic Organizer to plot the key words in the story such as "I" for first person. At this time, we are only completing the top portion of this graphic organizer so our focus targets only first person point of view. However, I discuss with my students that relying solely on pronouns can mislead the reader.  We must look at other factors that indicate a story is told from the first person point of view.  We focus on the "Voice" of the writing since that usually gives away whose perspective the story is told. Most importantly, first person is the narrator telling the story based on his own thoughts, feelings and perspective.

This point is accentuated as we analyze the perspective of our "True Story of the Three Little Pigs".   On the surface, the story seemed like it changed from first person to third person. For example, the wolf said, "He must have been the brains of the family."  However, using the pronoun "he" did not change the perspective to third person because the wolf is still telling the story from his point of view.  So, the voice of the writing is more significant in determining point of view than the pronouns themselves. Emphasizing this subtlety is a priority in this lesson on perspective.

I replayed the video and students write the parts of the story that implies perspectives via the pronouns used verbatim on their graphic organizers.  This method teaches students to rely on text to support their conclusion about whose eyes or perspective is this story told.  A graphic organizer also plots concretely a concept that is abstract such as point of view.

Sharing Out

20 minutes

Students share the information they gathered on their graphic organizers and justify their conclusions about whose point of view the story was told as evidenced by student analysis of first person perspective video.  Their justification included examples of dialogue and narrative of the story taken from the video.  The more detailed their notes, the more convincing students are at justifying their claim.  We then conduct a self-assessment on our skill in using text supports via a rubric: rubric.

*Source:  http://montgomerycms.sharpschool.net