Breaking News! Sixth Graders Empathize With Parents (Point of View)

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SWBAT: Understand how Point of View changes a story.

Big Idea

By looking at a visual, students take on the roles of kids, parents, community officials, and even a grouchy old neighbor!

Guiding Question

5 minutes

In thinking about how to teach the importance of Point of View, I really found myself starting to think about things from opposite points of view. What would it be like to be sitting in my class? What would my students be like as teachers? What is it like for the gazelle as he is being hunted by the lion? Is the lion just as nervous?

Because my students are being asked to write about an incident for their personal narratives, it is important that they can view the incident from various perspectives.

In our read-aloud, Ninth Ward, I had the kids think about how the book would have been different had it been narrated in a different perspective. So for this Guiding Question, asking them how different points of view might change in the books was asking them to apply their knowledge of Point of View.

I wanted them to answer the general question of how Ninth Ward might be different from another point of view, however, I anticipated that they might need some prompting, so I asked the follow-up questions using specific characters from the book.


15 minutes

A lot of the CCSS has students focus on author's purpose--which involved a really deep knowledge of text. By having my students apply their knowledge of Ninth Ward, and analyze it from other angles, they are understanding choices the author made, and how it affects the overall structure of the book.

My mini-lesson for this lesson is a read-aloud/think-aloud. I read from the book Ninth Ward, and periodically stop and think out loud, "How would this narrative be different if Mama YaYa was telling it?" Students were able to really answer this during our class discussion. They took that initial thinking from the Guiding Questions and, with the help of discourse and collaboration from peers, were able to articulate why the author chose to use Lanesha's point of view in the book. Some even realized that the theme of the book would change if it were told by another point of view.

Work Time

20 minutes

So, I have four tables of 8 kids (plus some others in other areas of the room). I assigned each table a different role, or perspective. 

I assign my first table the role of "kids." I had them imagine that they were kids (um, they actually are kids, but I don't break it to them.) I give them a minute to think about their likes and dislikes.

I assign my second table the role of "parents." Immediately there are giggles because now the "parents" table is bossing around the kids table. This is perfect--they are taking on the perspective. I have them silently reflect on what their likes and dislikes might be.

I assign my third table the role of "mayor." Now my third table is bossing around the other two tables, but I still get their attention back and have them think about their likes and dislikes.

Lastly, I give the role of "grumpy, old neighbor" to the last table. The whole class will laugh! They think this is so funny, and will immediately begin talking in that "old, no dentures voice." But I still have them thing about what their likes and dislikes might be.

Then I tell them that, while still in their role/their POV, they are going to come upon a scene. I show them the Picture of the Sprinkler. How are they going to react?

I give each table time to talk. The "kids" say that they are going to join in. The "parents" are mad because they have to clean up their mess, and they are going to trail water all over the house. The "mayor" is mad about the fact that they are wasting water and tax-payer money, while the "grumpy, old neighbors" hate the noise and the mess.





5 minutes

For their reflection, they needed to synthesize their findings. I wanted to make sure that they could see that the POV changed each time a new person/personality/age group looked at something. I had them reflect in their notebooks using their Reflection stems, even going further in asking, "How will this impact your writing?"