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Fun Ideas to Teach Point of View in the Classroom


Point of view is an essential element of storytelling, and it's crucial that we teach our students about it in the classroom.


There are three main types of point of view: first person, second person, and third person. These point of views have distinct characteristics and are used for different purposes. Understanding why people choose to write in these perspectives can help students become better readers.


First person writing is when the author refers to themselves as “I”, “me” or “we”. This style of writing creates an intimate connection between the reader and the author. Writers often use this perspective when sharing personal experiences, telling a story from a particular character’s viewpoint, or expressing their opinions. It allows the author to share their thoughts directly with the reader, creating empathy and understanding.

Second person writing is less common, but it still has its place in written works. In this style, the author speaks directly to the reader using "you”. By referring to “you”, it makes the reader feel like they are either part of the story or that they are the person who is being given advice. Second-person narratives are perfect for instructional manuals or self-help books because they create a sense of closeness between author and reader.

Finally, there's third person point of view which can be used to provide objectivity that isn't present in first or second person perspectives. Writing in third person is a common choice for many writers, and the reasons behind this decision are numerous. One of the primary reasons is to create distance between the narrator and the story's characters. This can help readers view the events more objectively, without getting caught up in emotions or personal biases. Another key advantage of writing in third person is that it allows for a broader perspective than first-person narratives. By using a detached voice, authors can explore multiple characters' thoughts and feelings without losing focus on any one character's point of view. This technique also allows writers to delve deeper into themes that may be difficult to tackle from just one character's perspective. Additionally, writing in third person offers greater flexibility when it comes to storytelling techniques, such as flashbacks, foreshadowing, and symbolism.


So what are some ways to teach point of view to students in the classroom?


Here are some ideas:


FIRST PERSON


1. Model the first-person point of view through a read-aloud of a book written in first person. Pause and point out when the narrator uses "I", "me" or “we”, and ask students what they notice about the point of view.


2. Draw an outline of a person on the board and have students label it with traits, feelings, and thoughts that only that person would have. This helps them to understand how everyone's point of view is unique to themselves.


3. Have students role-play different scenarios from different perspectives, e.g., taking turns being a character in a story and telling it from their own viewpoint using "I".


4. Collaborate with your class to write about everyday experiences like going to lunch or to the shops using the first person, such as “I”, “me” etc., then read aloud what was written by each student.

5. Encourage students to keep daily journals written in first-person, where they can write down their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences throughout the day.

6. Give each student a blank mask and have them decorate it to represent a specific character from a story. Then, have the students wear their masks and act out scenes from the story while using first person point of view.


7. Create fill-in-the-blank stories with blanks that require students to use the first person correctly. For example: "I walked into _____. I felt ___."


8. Conduct mock interviews with students acting as different characters or people with unique perspectives, allowing them to respond in first person point of view. This could be farther enhanced by allowing students to record themselves using video technology.


SECOND PERSON


1. Have students take turns being the speaker and listener, with one student addressing the other directly as "you" in their speech. For example, they could pretend to give directions or explain how to play a game.


2. Create a scavenger hunt activity where students have to find objects around the classroom or school using clues to help them. Each clue should be written in second person point of view so that students can practice recognizing what it sounds like in a real-world context.

3. Read books that use second-person point of view, such as "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Numeroff or "The Magic School Bus Inside Your Body" by Joanna Cole. After reading, have students discuss how the author used second-person point of view in their writing.

4. Provide sentence stems for students to practice writing sentences in second person point of view, such as "You should..." or "You need to...". Encourage them to use these structures in their own writing assignments.

5. Play games like “Simon Says” or “Follow the Leader”, where one student gives commands using second person point of view and the others follow along.

6. Split the class into pairs and ask them to come up with a story where one person is the protagonist, and the other is telling the story from their perspective using the second person.

7. Have students work together on group projects where they must address each other directly using "you", such as creating posters about healthy habits or making a class book about their favorite animals.

8. Show videos that use second person point of view, such as instructional videos or advertisements, and have students analyze how the language is used differently than first or third person narratives.


THIRD PERSON


1. Read books with third person point of view, such as fairy tales or fables. Discuss how the narrator is not a character in the story but is telling the story from an outside perspective.


2. Engage the class in role-playing activities where students take turns being the narrator and telling stories from different points of view (first person, second person, and third person). This activity will help them understand the key differences between each point of view.


3. Watch films or cartoons that illustrate third person point of view being used correctly. The visuals will aid their understanding and make it easier for students to grasp this concept.


4. Provide prompts for students to write their own stories using the third person point of view. This exercise will challenge them to think critically about how they want to tell their story and what kind of tone they want to convey through their narration.


5. Play charades where one student acts out an action while classmates guess who they are based on clues given through use of third person pronouns.


6. Provide students with puppets and ask them to create a short play in which each puppet represents a different character from a story. Encourage students to use third person point of view when narrating the actions and dialogue of their characters.


7. Have students write news articles about an event or situation that they witnessed in class or at home, but ask them to use third person point of view instead of first person. Then, have them present their articles to the class as if they were reporters.


8. Divide the class into small groups and assign each group a different scenario (e.g., on a camping trip, at the beach, in space etc.) Have each student take turns being the narrator who observes what is happening with all of the other characters.


Another way to practice point of view is through the use of reading comprehension passages. I made these ones to assist students in determining the difference between first person, second person and third person point of view. Here are the point of view reading passages:



If you would like to make a reading strategies display in your classroom, I also made these free posters for you to download and print! There is an editable and non-editable version! To grab your copy free, simply click on the links below the picture.



FREE RS Posters
.pdf
Download PDF • 23.34MB

FREE RS Posters (Editable)
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Download PPTX • 12.06MB

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