Exploring Different Points of View
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.
- 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.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling(10 minutes)
- Instruct your students to think about a time when there was an event or disagreement with multiple perspectives. A perspective, or point of view, is a particular way of looking at a situation that is affected by the things you care about.
- Share an example of a situation that students can relate to. This could be an example from your life (your childhood or a recent experience) or a situation that your class experienced or might experience. For example, ask them to imagine that a new rule was instituted on the playground that students need to include anyone in their game who asks to be included.
- Project the blank template Point of View Graphic Organizer so that everyone can see it.
- Once you have decided on a scenario, write it in the center circle.
- Ask your class to volunteer different perspectives, and record them in the outer circles. With the playground rule example, there might be points of view from the supervisors, students who have others to play with, and those who don’t.
- Moving from one perspective to the next, discuss the motivations and concerns of each person or group. Record them on the prongs that stretch from each perspective. For example, the recess supervisor wants to establish rules that will minimize arguments and create fairness. Students who have their set groups of friends might not want to include new people. Students who struggle to socialize want to be included. Students might not want to be forced to include people with whom they feel unsafe.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling(20 minutes)
- Now, using another example to which your students may be able to relate, pass out the sheet The Rowdy Fifth Graders. Instruct them to listen to the story and follow along, thinking about the different perspectives in the story.
- Project another blank example of the graphic organizer. Explain that students will now complete the sheet in small groups using the story as their scenario.
Independent Working Time(30 minutes)
- Now, read the picture book, "The Memory String" by Eve Bunting, aloud to your class. Before reading, explain that they will be completing the Point of View graphic organizer independently afterward.
- Pass out the graphic organizer and a copy of the text of the story to each student for them to reference.
- Instruct students to complete the graphic organizer using “Laura Gets a New Mom” as the central conflict.
- Work with struggling students at a separate table and go through the final exercise together.
- For struggling students, provide a version of the final activity that is partially completed.
Go over the story text as a class and circle the information that will help students think through this exercise.
- Have students complete the exercise for the novel they are reading rather than (or in addition to) "The Memory String".
- Assess student understanding as you circulate the room and review their graphic organizers. Collect and grade if desired.
Review and Closing(10 minutes)
- As a class or in small groups, discuss the Reflecting and Connecting questions below the graphic organizer.