Perspective in Text: Whose Voice is Missing?
Students will be able to infer author’s perspective and cite quotes as evidence to support their claim.
- Write the word ‘trustworthy’ on the board and tell your students you want their advice on something.
- Share with them several details about one of the most trustworthy people you know, (I.e. “I have this friend who…”)
- Ask your class what adjective comes to mind that might best fit the person you’ve just described, (expect students to say, trustworthy!)
- Have your students turn and tell a neighbor what they remember from your description, that supports ‘trustworthy’ as an appropriate adjective to describe your person.
Explain that what they (your students) have effectively done is:
- Identified author’s perspective by inferring and stating I believe my friend was trustworthy
- Cited details that support my belief
- Note that the objective of the following lesson is to teach them how to infer author’s perspective in a nonfiction text and cite quotes as proof.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(5 minutes)
- Present, review and complete the Author Inferences and Quotes as Proof exercise with details from the introduction example. Answer any clarifying questions as needed.
Guided Practice(15 minutes)
- Hand out double-sided copies of the Author’s Inferences and Quotes as Proof activity to your students.
- Explain that there can be more than one author’s perspective in texts and review the basketball sample.
- Ask your students to turn to a neighbor and share an alternative inferenced author perspective for the basketball example.
- Tell your class that another (potential) author inference could be, “I can tell this author would make a great basketball team talent scout!” They seem to know qualities for great players.
- Share the following quotes with your students and describe how each supports your claim: ”Each position requires certain skills and qualities.” ”This player (the point guard) must have strong ball-handling skills during the game.” ”A leader on the court must be able to facilitate plays and get the team in position to score points.”
- Tell your class that they will now practice the same skill on their own with a different nonfiction text.
Independent working time(10 minutes)
- Handout the nonfiction text sample and have your students complete the Author’s Inferences and Quotes as Proof activity.
- Offer several differentiated nonfiction text selections for students to chose from.
- Perform another round of guided practice whole class, with another nonfiction text for extra practice. Enrichment:
- Have students complete the enrichment exercise, Missing Voices: Nonfiction Perspectives, linked in the Suggested Media section.
- Have students select an event from American history that typically does not include all voices, such as the Middle Passage, the Trail of Tears, etc. Have students analyze the text to determine what voices are missing.
- Stand alone computer stations can also double as centers to display text selections for small groups or individual students.
- Google classroom is a great platform to assign this lesson. You can upload the Author Inferences and Quotes as Proof exercise along with several differentiated texts for student choice for analysis.
- Show your students three different potential author perspectives labeled: 1, 2, and 3. Also display three proposed quotes from a nonfiction text.
- Have your students show by number of fingers which potential author perspective best fits the quote collection.
Review and closing(10 minutes)
- Discuss: What perspectives, voices, and representations are missing from today’s nonfiction texts? Why is this question important?