EL Support Lesson

Who Is Telling the Story?

Help your ELs see the connection between nouns and pronouns and the author's point of view, or perspective, in fiction and nonfiction texts. This lesson can be taught on its own or used as support for the lesson Two Points of View.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Two Points of View lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

Which set of standards are you looking for?

This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Two Points of View lesson plan.

Students will be able to distinguish between first person and third person narratives.


Students will be able to identify the author's point of view with pronouns using strategic partnering.

(5 minutes)
  • Create a T-chart on the board or a piece of chart paper. Label the first column as "Nouns" and the second column as "Pronouns."
  • Review the definition of a noun (a person, animal, place, or thing) and ask students to brainstorm examples of nouns. Add them to the T-chart (e.g., Mateo, my mom, Fluffy the cat, Uncle Bob, etc.).
  • Explain that pronouns are words used to replace nouns so that the reader does not have to read the same noun repeatedly. Read aloud the following sentences to make the point of how valuable pronouns are: "Samantha loves basketball. Samantha practices every day after school. Even when Samantha has a lot of homework, Samantha makes sure to get at least one hour of basketball practice. Samantha's parents are supportive of Samantha's passion for basketball. It is Samantha's favorite sport." Then, read aloud the sentences with pronouns (she, her).
  • Write the corresponding pronoun on the T-chart for each of the nouns students came up with. Explain that pronouns must match the noun in terms of gender and quantity.
  • Tell students that today they will learn how to identify the author's point of view with pronouns.
(7 minutes)
  • Read aloud the tiered vocabulary words for this lesson. Instruct students to give you a thumbs-up if they know the meaning of the word, a thumb to the side if they have a slight idea of the meaning, and a thumbs-down if they do not know the definition of the word at all.
  • Depending on how your ELs responded to the pretest, spend an appropriate amount of time on each vocabulary term.
  • Display the Glossary on the document camera and distribute a copy to each student. Instruct students to write "Example" or "Sentence" in the last empty column on the right.
  • Invite students to read aloud each word and its definition, and describe the image if available.
  • Then have students work in partners to add images if there is not one, and an example of the word or the word used in a sentence in the last column.
  • Ask a few non-volunteers to share their images and examples to the whole class.
(9 minutes)
  • Hand out and display the First vs. Third Person Narration worksheet. Read aloud the teaching box and emphasize the importance of knowing who is telling the story as we read books.
  • Highlight the set of pronouns associated with the first person point of view or narration and do the same for third person pronouns.
  • Model how to determine the point of view for the first sentence by highlighting the nouns and pronouns and circling first person. Then tell students to continue highlighting and circling the point of view for all sentences in Part 1. Go over the answers and have students explain their thinking using the sentence frame: "This sentence is told from the ____ point of view because it uses the noun/pronoun ____."
  • Explain that both fiction and nonfiction can be told from the point of view, or perspective, of the first person (the narrator is a character in the story) or third person (the narrator is not a character in the story).
  • Read the directions to Part 2 aloud and the first sentence. Point out that these are the same sentences from Part 1, but for this section, they must determine whether the sentence comes from a fiction or nonfiction text, or could be from both types of writing. For the first sentence, think aloud, "I know it's told from the first person point of view because the author used the pronoun 'I.' I think this sentence could be both fiction and nonfiction because a fiction story can be told from the first person perspective while a nonfiction text could have this sentence in an autobiography."
  • Instruct students to complete the remainder of Part 2 independently. Have them also complete Part 3 of the worksheet, in which they must write two similar sentences written from each point of view. Make sure to read the directions and the tip provided. Invite some students to share their sentences and point out which nouns and pronouns they used.
(9 minutes)
  • Hand out the Shifting Points of View worksheet to students. Ask a student to read the teaching box and directions aloud to the class. Tell students that they will first highlight the nouns and pronouns in each passage. Note: you can model this for the first passage. Then, determine which point of view the passage is written in before shifting the perspective and retelling the passage in the other type of narration.
  • Assign students into pairs to complete the activity. Listen to student conversation as they engage in identifying the nouns/pronouns and point of view in order to change the perspective.


  • Allow beginning ELs to do the work with a helpful partner.
  • Preteach a separate lesson on nouns and their pronouns to a small group before this lesson.
  • Provide bilingual resources such as online dictionaries and glossaries for students to use to look up unfamiliar words.


  • Have advanced ELs read and rephrase directions and word definitions to their classmates.
  • Ask students to write multiple sentences in Part 3 of the First vs. Third Person Narration.
  • Pair students who speak the same home language (L1) together and encourage them to use the L1 to explain their reasoning.
(5 minutes)
  • Distribute an index card to each learner. Have students write their name on it and choose one of the sentences they wrote for Part 3 of the First vs. Third Person Narration worksheet, without naming the point of view.
  • Instruct students to swap their card with another student and also write their name on the back of the card.
  • Tell them to determine whether the sentence their friend gave them is in first or third person narration by writing first or third on the back of the index card. Collect the cards to gauge student understanding.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to consider the following question: Why is it necessary and important to know the author's point of view or who is telling the story?
  • Have students discuss this question in a group of three using these sentence stems:
    • "It is necessary and important to know the author's point of view because..."
    • "I think we need to know the author's point of view so that..."
  • After the small groups have discussed their opinions, have a representative from each group share out with the whole class.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items