After learning to distinguish between first, second and third-person points of view, students revise their editorial drafts to use point of view effectively.
Note: Before students begin the editing process in Lesson 6.1 it is recommended that they print out the revised drafts of their editorials so they can edit them on paper.
Technology: LCD projector, and Internet access or Writing Editorials CD, student computers with
Other Materials: Student folders, writers’ notebooks, and a draft of your editorial
If there is no access to the technology needed for this lesson, try the following options:
Students will incorporate the appropriate point of view throughout their editorials.
How can you use point of view to make your writing clear to your readers?
Show lesson visuals, Revise for Point of View.
Explain to students that the purpose of today’s lesson is to teach them how to use point of view effectively and consistently to make their writing more easily understood.
Explain that using the appropriate point of view is one way to make their editorials easier for readers to understand. Review the concepts of first, second and third person with your students. Tell them that first person is when an author writes from his or her personal perspective, using the terms “I” or “we” throughout the writing. Second person is when the author addresses the reader directly by using the word “you”. Third person is when the author describes the actions of other people, called third parties. Third-person writing often uses the pronouns, “he,” “she,” “it” and “they.” Provide an example of each point of view in a sentence.
Explain that the third person is the most commonly used point of view because it tends to sound more objective and authoritative. It is the best point of view for presenting evidence and factual
information. Students will want to use the third person when presenting evidence in the body.
Writers sometimes use first person to make their writing more personal. It is appropriate when people are telling a story about themselves or when they want to make somebody understand how strongly they feel about something. Remind students that they may want to use first person if they have a personal story in the opening or conclusion of their editorials.
Writing in the second person means the author is talking directly to his/her readers. This makes
readers feel more involved. The second person is most effective in getting readers to take action. Remind students that part of the conclusion of their editorials should encourage readers to take action or change their thinking, so the second person would work well in that section.
Explain to students that although they may want to use different points of view in different sections of their editorial, switching between points of view too often can be confusing for readers. Students should try to maintain a single point of view within one idea.
Display a draft of your editorial and identify the different points of view in one or two paragraphs from your work. Determine which point of view would be the most persuasive for a particular portion, and make the revisions.
Ask students to identify the points of view they used in their editorials, decide if the points of view they used are the most effective, and make any necessary revisions.
Most of my editorial is written in the third person, which could be OK. I use the first person in my introduction because I am telling a personal anecdote, but I wonder what that story would sound like in the second person. Second person is useful when you want to make your reader feel more engaged and involved. I want my readers to really imagine what a crowded subway car is like, so I will change all the first-person words to the second person. I will start with the word “imagine” because that’s what I want my reader to do.
Imagine you are edging onto the subway, one of many people all hoping to get a spot in an already crowded car. You manage to get your fingertips on the metal pole, just enough to keep your balance. Once everybody has packed in, one person’s arm in resting on your shoulder. Somebody else’s backpack is poking you in the ribs and at least three other people are pressed against your back and side. Oh, and don’t forget the unshowered guy who has his armpit in your face. I like the way the use of second person sounds. I am going to keep that.
Distribute computers. Ask students to:
Students work independently to review and revise their use of point of view. They reread their entire editorial to make sure the piece still flows well. Circulate among the students, checking to see that the point of view they have selected provides the correct tone for their writing. Look for effective student work that you can share during the Lesson Summary. When there are five minutes remaining, signal students to resave their document and then submit their revised editorials to the Online Classroom.
Individual Conferences: Students may have difficulty being consistent with their use of point of view within each idea. Use the highlighting feature of Microsoft Word, to help students mark the words that are specific to point of view. Confer with them about changing these words where necessary to make their writing clear and consistent so as not to confuse the reader.
Reconvene the class. Share your observations about how students in the class completed this task. Discuss a particularly strong use of point of view that you noticed during your conferences. Ask students how they can apply the same strategy to their own writing. Have students write this strategy in their notebooks for use in their final revision.
Review students’ most recent draft submitted to the Online Classroom assignment Submit Your Revised Editorial. See whether they revised their writing for clarity and persuasion and if students'
writing improved based on the Editorial Rubric (Handout 2.1b) and the peer feedback they received. Use the Teacher’s Checklist to identify what students have completed to this point.