Teaching Point of View
By Mary Montero
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I absolutely love teaching point of view! We have been busy working on point of view, and most specifically, on how an author’s point of view impacts how a story is written or told. I loved some of the activities we did, and I’m excited to share them with you!
Point of View Anchor Chart
We started the unit by creating an anchor chart together. (Are you shocked!?)
My students had an idea of what point of view was, but they needed to solidify their understanding of the types of third person point of view as well as second person point of view. We have referenced this chart (and the foldable they made) SO.MUCH. during this unit.
Using Pictures to Teach Point of View
Then, we did one of my favorite activities of the unit! I grabbed pictures off of the internet (I can’t share them here because they weren’t public domain. I typed in things like “learning to ride a bike” and “scored a soccer goal.”) and glued them each to a piece of large construction paper. I separated the page into five different sections. Perspectives, First Person Point of View, and then the three types of Third Person point of view.
We talked about how similar perspective and point of view are, but that they are still a little bit different. The students got into pairs and were assigned one of the pictures. The first round, they wrote all the different perspectives that were possible in the picture. Then, they rotated to a new picture, and they all wrote a brief narrative of what was happening in the picture in first person point of view using one of the perspectives they had identified. We rotated around until they all had practice writing in each of the points of view. The students truly enjoyed this point of view activity, and it was a good way to help them see the difference between perspective and point of view.
This was a favorite picture for my students. There were some great perspectives here, and they had fun with it.
I have created a FREE printable version of this activity! The pictures aren’t the same, but they should still elicit some great discussion! There are two differentiated versions as well as Google access. Enjoy!
I recently created a new resource to use after they had worked through this collaborative activity. I have had such great success with teaching reading skills with pictures that I created a resource that incorporates pictures with reading skills. For our point of view unit, here are the two that we did together. There are three more in the packet that they worked on individually and during reading rotations. You can view the complete Using Pictures to Teach Reading Skills packet here.
Using Video Clips
Then, I did some work with small groups. We used a short (53 second) clip from Toy Story (You can see it on YouTube HERE). We watched it several times, and we discussed the different perspectives that each of the main characters in the clip had. Then, we did some more writing, and we rewrote the scene in first and third person. For kids who were still struggling, instead of generating the words, I quickly wrote paragraphs for them to identify the correct point of view and perspective. It was an easy way to differentiate, and it helped drive home some ideas about how different points of view and different perspectives can have an effect on how a story is told.
Enter your email to download the differentiated pages for free. You will need to watch the clip with your class in order the use them.
**This year, I added in a new activity during small groups that was just amazing for getting students to see how different perspectives can influence a writer! I purchased a few copies of the short picture book Voices in the Park (click the affiliate link to see it on Amazon!). This book is just absolutely phenomenal. It follows four different individuals during their day at the park. There is the grouchy lady, the shy and lonely young boy, the happy girl, and the sad man. They each share their perspective of their time at the park– all of which, of course, are very different. It is a quick read, but so rich in detail. We read it all together, and then the students completed a super brief graphic organizer that helped them to see the different perspectives and how they were all woven together. You can download the accompanying sheet for free HERE.
We had a 20 minute block of time to use some task cards, so I pulled out my Point of View Task Cards, and we got busy! We actually used them with board games, and the kids had a blast. You can read about how I used board games with task cards over at my Task Card Blog, but here is a look at the task cards. They are differentiated, and you can use them for different proficiency levels, or for scaffolding. One set includes simple sentences, another includes paragraphs, and the last set includes types of writing, and students must identify the point of view from which it is most likely written. Each group turned in a recording sheet, so it was an easy way to assess where they stood. These cards generated some great discussion in class!
More Point of View and Perspective Resources
*NEW! If you’re teaching point of view and perspective to 4th-6th graders, I would HIGHLY recommend incorporating paired passages into your teaching of these concepts. I created these in some super fun formats to make it extra engaging for your students. There are point of view and perspective task cards, brochures, and flip books! Click any of the images below to learn more, or view the complete Point of View and Perceptive BUNDLE here.
Finally, we are still working on an assessment. The students each selected a “meaty”picture book. They read it, and now they are doing some analysis of 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.
Here is the board with all of the information I gave them to complete their fun flip-flap book. This really got them thinking!
Update: We finished our assessment! The students loved it. Here are a few of the finished products. I also turned my rather ugly board into a printable assignment sheet. There are two options… one is just for reference and one has enough room for students to do some brainstorming on it! For the final products, though, the students used a large piece of construction paper. You can click here to download these free printables (the ones pictured in green and pink).
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.