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Whose Point Is It Anyway?
Students will be able to compare two different points of view and analyze how they shape a reader’s perspective.
- Ask student volunteers to retell the story "Three Little Pigs" from memory. Work as a class to recall key details.
- Tell students that today we are going to learn about point of view and how different points of view can shape a story.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(5 minutes)
- Quickly summarize the story aloud once more. For example: "The three little pigs want to build houses for themselves, but the big bad wolf blows their houses down. Finally, when all the pigs retreat to their brother’s brick house, the wolf tries to climb in through the chimney, but is burned at the bottom."
- Explain that the story is told from the pigs’ point of view.
- Review the definition of point of view (the perspective from which the story is told; most commonly written in either first person using the words “I” or “we,” or third person using the words “he,” “she,” or “they”) Point out that the pigs are not narrators of the story, but the story is still told with their perspective in mind, which means the original story is written in third person.
Guided Practice(15 minutes)
- Rhetorically ask: how would the story of the three little pigs change if it were told from a different point of view?
- Show The True Story of the Three Little Pigs video. After the video, point out that this version of the story is told in the first-person perspective from the wolf’s point of view.
- Explain that the point of view can alter or change the reader’s perspective of the events in the story.
- Display or draw a top hat organizer (see suggested media for an example) and, with the class, compare the pigs’ point of view to that of the wolf, using the top two columns to compare differences, and the bottom section to record similarities (i.e., in the pigs’ version, the wolf huffed and puffed and purposely blew the houses down; in the wolf’s version, he accidentally blew the houses down when he sneezed).
- Discuss how the different points of view changed the reader’s attitude towards the characters and events in the story:
- How did you feel about the wolf when the story was told from the pigs’ point of view?
- How did that change when the story was told from his point of view?
Independent working time(10 minutes)
- On a piece of plain white paper, have students draw a top hat diagram with three columns on top (see related media for an example).
- Hand out a copy of the story in the worksheet Cinderella’s "Evil" Stepsisters to each student and instruct students to read it to themselves. (Note: students do not need to respond to the questions that follow the story.)
- When students are finished reading, have them use their top hat diagram to compare each of the two points of view they read, and that of Cinderella in the original version, using their memory of the story (Note: summarize the original story aloud for students if needed).
- Circulate and offer support as needed.
- Provide additional examples during guided practice.
- Have students compare only two points of view during independent practice (i.e., only compare the two step sisters to one another, but not Cinderella; in this scenario, students’ top hat organizer will only need two sections instead of three).
- Have students apply the skills learned to reimagine the point of view in a book of their choice.
- Apply the concept to nonfiction texts or accounts in history (i.e., the story of the California missions told from the point of view of the Spanish missionaries vs. the point of view of the Native Americans).
- On the board, write the names of several familiar stories (i.e., "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Goldilocks and the Three Bears").
- Have students pair up with a partner and choose a story from those listed on the board.
- Tell students that they will be acting out two different points of view from the story they chose (i.e., one student might perform from the point of view of Goldilocks, while their partner performs from the point of view of the baby bear).
- Give students time to discuss and practice with their partner, then invite them to perform their scene(s) for the class.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- As a class, discuss the scenes that were performed during the assessment activity:
- How did (student name) portray the point of view of the baby bear in the story of Goldilocks? How did that point of view change our perspective of the story as we know it?
- How can we use this skill as we read? (i.e., we could imagine other characters’ points of views, we could be more critical of the point of view from which a story is told, etc.)