Teaching point of view/perspective in narratives is one of my favorite units! After following these four steps, your students will be pros at identifying and describing points of view in various texts and also create unique perspective pieces. These 4 steps to effectively teach point of view are meant as a guideline, you can use and expand them to cover many more lessons. Take a look:
1. Define & Identify
Start off by discussing point of view and who exactly is narrating the story. Are they speaking in the first person? Do they have abilities to know all sides of the story? Is their view limited? Some of these questions may be philosophical but your students will definitely be able to keep up with you if you give them plenty of examples along the way.
2. Examine and Break Down
Next, allow your students to understand why a specific perspective is taken in a story. There are two main ways of doing this. Firstly, examine the evidence that supports the perspective. Secondly, examine the characters and allow students to see the perspectives really come to life. This second step is crucial in getting students to then create their own stories with a unique perspective.
3. Explore Various Examples
Create plenty of opportunities to demonstrate the meaning of perspective. Fractured fairytales work really well for this.
4. Student Creations
Give students a chance to create their own perspective pieces. Now this is where you can start to have some fun. Of course, this part can only be done if your students have completed a story writing unit. Assuming they have, give them the opportunity to first write a story from their own personal perspective. Then have them branch out and write the perspectives of characters previously unheard from. One very fun activity I did as closure to this unit is: I had students form legal teams (defense lawyers and prosecutors, naturally), and I had them present the cases of famous fairy tale villains to a special guest judge (this can be a principal, special parent, etc). The kids (and the adults) just loved this.
What steps do you follow to effectively teach point of view?