Group Size: Any

Time Required: 60 - 90 minutes

Learning Objective: Students will be able to identify the point of view from which a text is written

Materials:

Student Worksheet #15 (attached)
Overhead transparency (attached)
Any novel with which all students are familiar (I use Speak in this lesson, but you should customize this part of the Direct Instruction to fit your students)
Post-it notes (so that students can code their novels)
Night by Elie Wiesel (one copy for each student)

Do Now: (Today's Do Now loops to reinforce yesterday's objective.  Students will identify the audience and purpose of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream."  This assumes prior knowledge of the speech.

T will allow time for S to complete the Do Now, then facilitate a pair/share.)

Connection: As we discussed yesterday, author's purpose and audience are important things to think about while we're reading, because they help us to understand the text.  Today we're going to review yet another important and familiar concept that greatly impacts how we understand what we read: point of view. 

Direct Instruction / Guided Practice: Who can remind me what point of view is? (T will facilitate a brain spill on the board to access prior knowledge.)

For our purposes, we're going to define point of view as (T will reveal the first portion of the overhead; S will copy these notes onto today's worksheet): the vantage point from which a story is told.

Our authors make a conscious choice about who will tell their story. Let me show you what I mean. This book, Speak (display) is the story of a girl named Melinda who is raped by a boy named Andy Evans. The narrator of the story is Melinda, so everything that happens to her, we see from her point of view. We are upset when she is upset, we are angry when she is angry, and so on.

Now what would happen if, instead of telling the story from Melinda's point of view, Laurie Halse Anderson decided to tell the story from Andy Evans' point of view? (Accept reasonable responses.  Customize this portion of the lesson for use with your students by referring to a novel with which all students are familiar.  Begin by summarizing the plot and the impact of the point of view upon students' understanding of the text and their empathy toward the main character.  Then propose an alternative point of view and probe students' thinking about how their understanding of the text and their feelings of empathy would shift.)

The decision about point of view is one of the most important decisions an author can make. As critical thinkers, it's important that we not only ask ourselves why our authors make the choices they make but also how the effect of the text might be different if the author had chosen otherwise.

Take a moment to respond to the question on your notes beneath the definition of point of view. How would Night be different if the story had been told from the point of view of a guard in a concentration camp?

(T will allow time, then facilitate pair/share.)

We can go further with point of view than just naming the narrator. There are some other terms we use when we talk about the decisions the author makes. These terms are first person and third person. Let me show you what I mean. Please don't write; just look and listen.

(T will expose the next definition on the overhead) In first-person point of view, the narrator is a character in the story. He or she is telling the story from his or her point of view using the pronouns "I" and "We," just like Elie Wiesel does in Night and just like Melinda does in Speak. Both of these narrators--Mr. Wiesel and Melinda--are characters in the story, and when you read the story, you put yourself in their shoes.

In third-person point of view, the narrator is not a character in the story at all.  (T will expose the last definition on the overhead.)  The story is told from some other point of view outside of the story.

Now feel free to take notes on these definitions. (T will allow time.)

Let's take a moment to practice determining the difference between first and third person point of view in our notes. (T will think aloud through number one, ask a student to think aloud through number two, and facilitate a pair/share for the rest of the questions.  As students work in partners, T will circulate to listen for misconceptions.)

Link:  Check out the "Link" section of your notes to review what you should be doing. (Share out "Links.")

Independent Practice: (S will read silently. You may wish to pair up students who would otherwise struggle alone.  T will hold Reader's Workshop conferences and/or pull small groups for guided reading or other interventions. Note also that literature circles may be holding meetings at this time.)

Share: Our time for today is up.   When you share today, please make sure that everyone understood the reading and that no one has any misconceptions. (T will allow time and circulate to monitor S understanding.)

Closing: Remember, point of view is the vantage point from which a story is told.  The decision about point of view is one of the most important decisions an author can make. As critical thinkers, it's important that we not only ask ourselves why our authors make the choices they make but also how the effect of the text might be different if the author had chosen otherwise.

Okay, it's time for million dollar question...

1. What i point of view?  (the vantage point from which a story is told)

2. What is the difference between first and third-person points of view?  (First person: The author is a character in the story.   Third person: The author is not a character in the story.)

3. (Note to the Instructor: Insert your own question here based upon objectives your students mastered up until this point in the year.)

4. How are audience and author's purpose related? (Accept reasonable responses.)

Differentiation: Novels are differentiated by reading level and by choice. Brain spill to access prior knowledge. Gradual release during Direct Instruction/Guided Practice. Active reading strategy: coding the text. Reader's Workshop conferences to encourage and monitor individual goals.

 

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