Speaker, narrator and point of view

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Common core standards


Related articles


Teaching strategies

There are two meaning of point of view.

  • The most basic one is this, “The perspective from which a story is told to the reader (i.e. first person).” [1]
    • Points of view, from this definition include first person, second person, third person limited and third person omniscient.
  • The other definition of point of view is more complex, “point of view refers to how a person or character looks at, or views, an object or a situation.” [2].
    • This definition is what we are talking about when we tell kids to try to take someone else’s point of view. Both are important to teach students, so resources for both are included here. Please add more resources as you find them!


Graphic organizers


Classroom activities

  • Jenny on ProTeacher has a fun, introductory activity. She finds an object that looks different from different view points and has students circle it and draw it. They then compare the drawings to see how they differ.



  • Teach Peace Now Point of View has a nice introductory activity for a variety of grade levels. The lesson starts with the story of the “Six Blind Men and the Elephant,” which is incredibly short. Basically, the guys walk away having no idea what an elephant is like because each was stuck in their own point of view. The lesson plan includes a worksheet and questions that steer the students towards recognizing that there is more than one “right” point of view on almost anything.


  • Teachable Moments Elementary Point of View is geared at helping students with conflict resolution. The two activities also work well for literature. The first activity has students look at optical illusions and discuss what they see. The second activity is role plays where each character has their own point of view. The role plays focus on things like a kid who doesn’t want to clean his room and a mom who wants him to, so they are super appropriate.



  • Laurie Henrie’s ReadWriteThink Lesson on Point of View for middle school has several excellent activities. First, she does a fractured fairy tale exercise with Venn Diagrams to compare the points of view. The second part is the awesome one. She wrote her own story called the house that could be narrated by either a robber or a real estate agent. The students are divided into two groups and assigned one of those two roles. They don’t know what the other group was assigned. As they listen, the groups take notes on the house. At the end, the two groups compare their lists and try to guess the role of the other group.


  • Political Cartoons Point of View is a lesson that looks at political cartoons about the Stamp Act and has the students figure out the point of view of the creators of each. Although the impressive oldness of the cartoons makes them appropriate for only older students, you could use more recent political cartoons to broaden the lesson. Kids Learn has links to several sites with political cartoons and Newspapers in Education has some great resources as well.




  • Have students rewrite brief passages with a different point of view. Either have them switch from first person to third person or have them shift who is doing the narration.


  • Microsoft has a grade 5 and up lesson plan on teaching point of view and perspective using books and aerial photographs. Who knew Microsoft was writing lessons?

Cyber games and activities

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Studyzone ELA 4 Point of View presents a brief overview of first and third person narration and then has students practice identifying the point of view for the 4th grade.
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Super teacher jeopardy is a POV game with categories of identifying the POV, subjective or objective, and perspective in the point of view. The scoring system doesn't seem to work but you can keep score on a whiteboard or something.
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Quia Rags to Riches has questions with answers such as "third person expository" and "third person omniscient". Definitely for upper grades!

iPad apps

Free worksheets

  • EReading Worksheet 1 has students read a passage and then decide if it’s being told from first person, second person or third person. If it’s being told in third person, the student has to answer more questions about how much the narrator knows and their involvement in the story.


  • EReading Worksheet 2 has students read a passage and then decide if it’s being told from first person, second person or third person. If it’s being told in third person, the student has to answer more questions about how much the narrator knows and their involvement in the story.





  • Mrshatzi Point of View has students read short passages from books and then state if the narration is first person, second person, etc. In addition they have to decide if statements are facts or opinions.


  • This 3-4th grade worksheet has students identify the pronouns that go with each narrator point of view and use them in sentences.


Videos

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The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs is a cute, narrated version of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs . If you haven't read it, this story tells the story of the 3 Little Pigs from the wolf's point of view. A great intro to point of view! True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk is a similar take on that story-- though not as well done of a video. Still makes the same point though!
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| 3 Little Pigs is a rap version of the original story, if you wanted a contrast to the wolf's version. The 3 Little wolves and the 3 big pigs is another twisted version.
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Points of View in Literature is a narrated slide show with video clips. It starts boring, but then has a video of an Edgar Allen Poe clip (Tell Tale Heart starts at 2:30) to look at the reliability of the narrator. Then it goes back to being dry-- but that clip at 2:30 is EXCELLENT for looking at narrator reliability.
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Point of View and Narrator's Perspective is a narrated slide show. VERY dry but informative.
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Narrative Point of View has a teacher illustrated as he draws cartoons to explain point of view and narration. The voice over is pretty dry, but the drawings are cool. It was made for a 9th grade class.

Helpful links



  • Write Now Point of View is a nice handout on first person, second person, third person omniscient and third person limited narration.


At home

Product reviews

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