I like to introduce point of view through a combination of lessons and activities. Even though it’s not exactly the same thing, I also introduce the idea of perspective during these lessons. I typically spend about a week teaching point of view, and then I circle around back to it a few weeks later in the year. I like to give students time to absorb and apply the lessons before I expect mastery of the standard. I start with a few lessons on perspective, and then I move to point of view lessons. You can find all of the printables and detailed lesson plans here.
I love beginning by using The Three Little Pigs. In this lesson, I have students complete the left portion of the recording sheet where students explain the pig’s point of view or perspective and the wolf’s point of view or perspective. As always, students give text evidence to support their reasoning. Then, I read The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and students complete the second column of the recording sheet. In this column, students share their new way of thinking. I love that the lesson shows how the perspective can change due to who is telling the story.
I typically follow-up that lesson with another lesson on perspective. Hey, Little Ant is an excellent mentor text for teaching perspective. In the book, you shift perspectives with that of an ant, and everything REALLY changes! An extension to that lesson is to have students look at a particular situation from different perspectives. For example, students could consider if there should be an extended school year from different perspectives. They would write their ideas as a student, parent, teacher, and principal. This forces students to step outside their own world view and to look at ideas from different angles.
One of my favorite books to incorporate is Mirror Mirror. This book contains poems that can be read from top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top. The author uses different perspectives from several popular fairy tales. There are so many other lessons you can teach from this book-poetry, how punctuation impacts the meaning of words, imagery, and so much more!
Teaching Point of View
Once I finally get in to actually teaching point of view, I find that it’s a very easy concept for students to grasp and understand. I first create an anchor chart with students that explains first, second, and third person point of view. It’s helpful to also include point of view signal words such as I, we, me, etc. Second person point of view is not included in my standards, but I feel that it’s worth mentioning to students. It certainly doesn’t hurt anything. Plus, students typically LOVE books written in second person point of view.
I then give students an activity where they read a three brief passages. One is written in first person, one is written in third person-limited, and one is written third person-omniscient. Students highlight the key or signal words in the passage. Then, they use that information to determine which point of view the passage was written in. Students also use sentence stems to explain WHY it is that point of view. I also love having students try to write a view additional sentences to the passage that follow the same point of view. That application is quite challenging for students.
Point of View Scavenger Hunt
If it’s a scavenger hunt, I’m in. All kidding aside, I love a good scavenger hunt, and students do too! When I teach this lesson, I love taking students to our school library, because of the huge quantity of books. If you aren’t able to access a school library, a well-stocked classroom library works perfectly fine. Students work together to find examples of books that are written in different points of view. They record the title of the book and an excerpt that proves the point of view.
One helpful tip is to remind students that this is not a race. They are to book the books they look at back exactly they way they found them.
If I have a student who has difficulty with point of view, it’s typically due to general reading issues-not the actual standard. You can read more about how I structure my reading groups here. Hopefully, you’ll be able to utilize a few of these ideas in your classroom.