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Explore Point of View / Write in First Person

Invite students to share their finished stories with the class. Encourage students to share what they liked most about each story. After hearing all of the stories, invite students to share examples of how authors used the character’s observations to tell the story from his or her perspective. Analyze how presenting the story from a different point of view could affect someone’s interpretation of the event.

PROCESS:

  1. Select a character in a book that the class is currently reading. Invite students to identify and describe pivotal moments for that character in the plot.
  2. Brainstorm ideas about what could have happened if the character had done something differently.
  3. Instruct students to select one scenario. Then, in small groups, with a partner or on the own, encourage students to write a first-person narrative describing that event from the character’s point of view. Remind the class to include detailed descriptions of all characters involved in the scene. Tell them to also describe the setting and the event so readers understand the main character’s thoughts and actions as the situation unfolds. If necessary, review how to write in first person.
  4. Give students time to write their narratives. 

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their finished stories with the class. Encourage students to share what they liked most about each story. After hearing all of the stories, invite students to share examples of how authors used the character’s observations to tell the story from his or her perspective. Analyze how presenting the story from a different point of view could affect someone’s interpretation of the event.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Have students write their stories in small groups.  Then instruct students to answer three questions about each story: 1) Was the story about something that happened to the character? 2) Were there enough details for listeners to understand the characters and event? 3) Was the story told from the character’s point of view? 

Grades 5-6:
Instruct each student to write a story and have students share their stories in small groups. Tell groups to ask questions as they evaluate how well the their fellow authors described the characters, setting and plot. Encourage them to offer suggestions for improvement.

Grades 7-8:
Instruct each student to write a story and have students share their stories in small groups. Instruct groups to discuss how each of their classmates used specific events to lay out the plot in their stories. Challenge them to identify specific elements each author included to ensure that the story was told from the character’s point of view. 

Grades 9-10:
Instruct each student to write a story and have them share their stories with a partner. Then instruct partners to write a brief account of each other’s story from a third-person point of view. Challenge them to identify key differences in the two versions of each account.