The activities in this lesson will engage students in thinking about how a person’s position, needs, and concerns affect their point of view on an issue. Students will apply this to characters in "The Memory String" by Eve Bunting.
Students will be able to identify at least two different points of view in a story.
Students will be able to explain how a character’s point of view shapes their understanding and stance.
The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
Write this statement on the board: "Recess is fun."
Ask students to think about this statement silently for about 30 seconds and consider whether they think it is true or false. Suggest that they consider reasons to support their conclusion.
Take a poll (who thinks it's true and who thinks it's false) and then call on a few students to share their thoughts.
Now insert the word "always" before the word "fun" in the statement and ask students to reconsider their stance. This time, stress that you are not asking whether they agree or disagree from a personal standpoint, but whether they believe that recess is always fun for kids.
Discuss: Did changing the statement alter their stance? Why? (Students may realize that recess isn't always fun, it depends on your perspective—if you don't have anyone to play with, if you have a hard time socializing, if you are getting mistreated, if others aren't sharing equipment, etc.)
Tell students that in this lesson, they are going to learn how to consider a character's point of view and how it shapes a person's understanding and stance.
Provide sentence stems for class discussion (e.g., "Recess is/is not always fun for kids because..." or "I changed my answer because...").
Provide student-friendly definitions for words like "point of view" and "stance."