Lesson at a Glance

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.

Prep & Tech

Technology: LCD projector, and Internet access or Writing Editorials CD, student computers with
Internet access
Other Materials: Student folders, writers’ notebooks, and a draft of your editorial

Limited Tech Options

If there is no access to the technology needed for this lesson, try the following options:

  1. Mini Lesson: If there are no student computers available, show DD’s Think Aloud: Revise for Point of View during the mini lesson with speakers instead of asking students to watch it during Writer’s Work Time.
  2. Writer’s Work Time: Instead of directing students to use computers to revise their drafts, have them revise on paper.


Students will incorporate the appropriate point of view throughout their editorials.

Focusing Question

How can you use point of view to make your writing clear to your readers?

Mini Lesson (10 min)

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.

Teacher Model

  1. Show the draft of your editorial using chart paper or a computer/LCD projector.
  2. Reread portions of your editorial, thinking aloud about your use of point of view.
  3. Identify places where you would like to change the point of view in your writing to make it more consistent or make it more persuasive.
  4. Model how to revise this paragraph of your editorial in order to switch the emphasis.
  5. Reread the revised paragraph to see if you are still communicating with readers clearly.
  6. Resave your document to Step 5 of the Online Classroom to the assignment Submit Your Revised Editorial. Indicate that you will continue to look for other parts of your piece that require revision.


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.

Preparing for Writer’s Work Time

Distribute computers. Ask students to:

  1. Go to the Online Classroom and play DD’s Think Aloud: Revise for Point of View.
  2. Open the most recent draft of their editorials.
  3. Review their editorial drafts, identifying the point of view for each paragraph and asking themselves if this is the most effective point of view.
  4. Identify places to change their point of view to make it more consistent or persuasive.
  5. Revise the point of view in their editorials as necessary.
  6. Reread their editorials to make sure that each portion still communicates the ideas clearly.
  7. Resave their documents and submit to Step 5 of the Online Classroom to the assignment called Submit Your Revised Editorial.

Writer’s Work Time (30 min)

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.

Differentiated Instruction Strategies

  1. Difficulty selecting a point of view? Encourage students who are unsure about the correct point of view of a particular sentence to say the sentence in first, second and third person, and then choose the one that clearly communicates meaning and is most persuasive.
  2. Struggling to use a consistent point of view? Have students work in a guided group to read their editorials to one another. Peers should listen for changes in point of view and mention it the writer.
  3. Ready for more? Instruct students to go to Prof. P’s Office and analyze how point of view is used in other mentor texts. Students can also visit the Study Center for additional activities such as the Editorial Feedback Forum, Opinion Space, or one of the Analyze This! exercises.

Sharing and Lesson Summary (5 min)

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.

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