The Complete Guide to Teaching Point of View and Perspective
By Mary Montero
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Acquiring strong comprehension skills and utilizing those skills in a way that supports reading is critical for students’ reading success. Although point of view and perspective standards differ from state to state and overlap between grade levels, there are several key skills and outcomes that are expected from students. You can use these standards for vertical alignment and differentiation. For example, if I’m teaching gifted 3rd graders, not only do I dive more deeply into grade level standards, but I look at the next grade level standard to accelerate their learning as well. This FREE guide will help you cover all important standards when teaching point of view and perspective.
Download Everything You Need– for free!
This free PDF guide will allow you to have all of the point of view and perspective resources right at your fingertips. It’s packed with checklists, book lists, lesson plans, anchor charts, practice activities, and more!
Teaching Point of View and Perspective Lesson Sequence
I usually spend about two weeks on this unit, but continue to discuss point of view and perspective all year long to keep skills fresh!
Hook & Anchor Chart
I begin my lesson by having the students gather at the carpet and saying, “Hello! My name is Mrs. Montero, and I’m so happy you’re all here today. She is going to teach you a lesson about point of view. It’s one of her favorite lessons to teach. I love it becuse there are so many fun ctivities we get to do. You will love it because you will learn a new reading skill that will unlock a world or PERSPECTIVE!”
By the end of my little introduction (which includes all three different points of view), 90% of my students are scratching their heads at the shifts in points of view I kept making. I stop and ask them why they’re so confused! After a little discussion, I introduce the idea of different points of view. We create our anchor chart together, talking about first, second, and third person point of view, and I relate it all back to my introduction. When we are talking about third person point of view, I talk in third person point of view (as much as I can!). The same goes for second person point of view. They LOVE this and they always remember how silly it was creating this anchor chart together.
Frozen 2 Scene
This is one of my favorite scenes from Frozen 2, and it’s awesome for teaching first and third person point of view. Olaf begins by introducing himself, but then tells the story of Frozen in 3rd person POV while interspersing some 1st person POV dialogue. We go through and watch the whole thing (it’s less than 2 minutes), and I ask them to tell me the point of view from which the story is told, and we discuss. Then, I print out the script (included in your FREE download), and we dissect the parts that are in 1st and the parts that are in 3rd person POV. After we’ve done the basic identification of the different points of view, we start to really talk about perspective. This scene lends itself really well to a discussion on perspective since all of the main characters already know the story, but the soldiers are hearing it for the first time. We talk about how this impacts perspectives and responses to the story. It’s an activity that is well-loved by all students!
Teaching Point of View with Pictures
After students have a decent understanding of point of view and perspective, we do this highly engaging (and free!) activity using pictures! I assign each pair of students a picture, with boxes around them that have all the different points of view as well as a box with perspective. They look at their picture and jot down all the different perspectives that are possible in the picture. Then, they rotate to a new picture with their partner and write a brief narrative about what is happening in the box labeled first person point of view. They continue to rotate through, practicing writing in each of the different points of view.
Point of View with Toy Story
Next up is another video lesson, which I’ve been doing for over 10 years! We watch this scene several times and discuss the different perspectives that each of the main characters in the clip had. I wrote out some paragraphs for them to identify the correct POV and perspective, and then we rewrite the scene in first and third person point of view. It is an excellent lesson on different points of view and how different perspectives can impact how a story is told.
Voices in the Park
This lesson helps students see how different perspectives can influence a writer. I use the book Voices in the Park (Amazon affiliate link), which follows four different individuals during their day at the park. They each share their perspective of their time at the park – each of which is quite different. We create a graphic organizer that shows how their perspectives are woven together. It’s an amazing lesson and the materials you need are also included in the free download.
This free activity is also included in your download. There are two different scenes, and each one has EIGHT different perspectives, written in different points of view. All of these different perspectives describe what is happening in the scene. We read all eight perspectives and then jot down everything we notice about what is happening in the scene. We make connections between the different perspectives and points of view, and we consider how people may see things differently and how that informs our information as readers. Finally, we rewrite the scene from the third person point of view incorporating all of the information we know about what is happening. This activity usually takes several days to fully move through, but it is SO impactful!
Teaching Point of View and Perspective Practice Activities
It is vital that students can examine skills in a variety of ways. As you work with point of view skills throughout your unit (and the year!), I included a check list to make sure your students are exposed to point of view and perspective work in numerous ways.
Each of these activities is designed to provide valuable point of view and perspective practice.
Allow each student to select a “meaty” picture book (Patricia Pollaco books work great for this). They read it, and then analyze the narrator, the point of view that the narrator wrote from, and how the book would be different from a different character’s point of view. I’ve included specific directions in the free download to help!
In grades 4+, we spend a great deal of time analyzing perspective and point of view and really diving much deeper than just identifying the points of view. While we are in small groups, we use our Point of View Brochures and Paired Passage Task Cards. Both are included in this point of view and perspective bundle.
Have students read a story written in third person point of view. Then, have them write a diary entry from the perspective of TWO different characters. This hits both point of view and perspective skills.
Point of View Production
My students’ absolute FAVORITE part of this unit (although they really love it all!) is the final project we complete. It’s called the Point of View Production, and they get to plan an entire concert while practicing their point of view and perspective skills! I like to play music in the background, encourage them to dress like a rockstar, and have a little fun with it!
Point of View and Perspective Book Lists
I created an Amazon Affiliate List of my favorite point of view and perspective picture books. The free PDF includes the specific titles and activity suggestions to make teaching your lessons easier.
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I’m so glad you are here. I’m a current gifted and talented teacher in a small town in Colorado, and I’ve been in education since 2009. My passion (other than my family and cookies) is for making teachers’ lives easier and classrooms more engaging.