I asked students if they remembered what pronouns are and listed them on the board. I told students we were going to use pronouns to determine who is telling a story. I introduced the narrator poster to provide a visual definition. I told students they can identify the narrator of a story by analyzing the pronouns used at the beginning of the story. If the pronouns I, me, my, we, our, us, mine are used, a character inside of the story is telling the story. If he, she, he, she, they, or the character’s name is used, someone who is not in the story is telling the story. I read the first few pages of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes. This story is familiar to students, so I did not have to read and entire story or have them focus on a new plot. I told them that because the author is refers to Lilly by name, an outside narrator is telling the story because Lilly would not call herself Lilly. As another example, I read the first page of Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco. I drew students’ attention to the fact that the main character was saying my (my babushka, we had a ceremony, so the main character is telling the story; the little girl. I read the first pages of two more familiar books and had students help me identify the narrator. I had them justify their answers, i.e. Greg is the narrator because he says, "I" and "My little brother, Manny."
Students grabbed their book boxes and worked in pairs. Each student had at least 2 books in their books boxes, so they had at least 4 books to work with. They read the first 1-2 pages of each book and had a discussion to determine the narrator. They used a transparency and dry-erase maker to underline the pronoun or character name clues. This process addressed the learning style of visual and tactile learners. Students wrote or drew the narrator on their narrator response sheet. They had the option of drawing the narrator in order to access a different learning modality.
<<insert underlined transparency>>
<<insert student sheet>>
I collected student work at the end of class. I was familiar with most of their books, so I knew the narrator right away. If I was not familiar with the book, I grabbed it from the student’s book box and read the first two pages to determine the speaker. I assessed students using a checklist. If they were able to correctly identify the narrator, I checked yes. If they were not, I checked no.
Ticket Out the Door: Before and After – Students were directed to write how they determined the narrator of a story before today’s lesson and how they determined the narrator after today’s lesson. This assessments helps students assess their understanding and recognize personal growth.