Point of View really sets the tone of a story and influences the feel of the story for the reader. If a story is told from a character’s Point of View, you get to be in their head and experience the story from their perspective. When a story is told from a narrator’s Point of View, you get to see the whole picture and experience it from an outsider perspective. There are a few layers to Point of View that can be taught in steps. The first objective is for students to understand that Point of View is the voice that is telling the story, which is usually either a character or a narrator. The second layer is identifying the Point of View as First Person (character) or Third Person (narrator). It’s important for students to understand that the Point of View heavily influences their reading experience so identifying the Point of View will give them a deeper understanding of the story being told.
I like to spend a sufficient amount of time on each strategy to allow for an introduction, modeling, scaffolding, independent practice, assessment, and reflection. Therefore, I spend approximately 1 week on each strategy and follow a similar instructional routine. This is day 3 of Point of View Week – Independent Practice.
Connection: I always start by connecting today’s lesson to something kids have previously learned so that it triggers their schema and background knowledge. Since this is the third day they are learning about Point of View, I make a connection to the scaffolding lesson we did yesterday. I ask students what strategy we are working on this week and wait for them to say Point of View. This time, I want them to remind me what Point of View is, which is the voice that is telling the story.
Teaching Point: This is when I tell kids explicitly what we will be working on. I say, “Today, I want you to apply Point of View to whatever book you are reading on your own.” I use our current chapter Read Aloud book and model the use of a sticky note to determine first if it is a character or a narrator telling the story then whether the Point of View is First Person or Third Person. I always write my name and class # at the top of the sticky note, then the title of the book underneath my name. Then I write the Point of View that I chose along with evidence of why I chose it (see picture).
Active Engagement: This is where students get to try out the strategy that I just taught them. I ask them to think about some things that they would like to persuade others to do or believe. After a minute or two of thinking time, I tell them to turn and talk to their partner to share some ideas. I give the students a few minutes then call on some to share. Students will have a range of fun ideas, like why others should play a particular sport, why they should root for one college over another, why homework should be banned, etc. I spend a little extra time with the persuasion piece because this is the type of text that students will come across the least. I want to make sure they understand the power of persuasion.
Link to Ongoing Work: During this portion of the mini-lesson, I give the students a task that they will focus on during Independent Reading time. Now that they are familiar with Point of View, I tell them that during Independent Reading, their job is to prepare a sticky note for our Post-It Parking Lot (see picture) with any book of their choice. The day before, they practiced the strategy with text that I chose so today they get an opportunity to apply the strategy to the books that they choose. I expect them to have their sticky note prepared by the end of Independent Reading time. When they finish their task, they should continue reading books from their browsing box. At the end of Reader’s Workshop, they will place their sticky note on the Post-It Parking Lot and then gather at the carpet to share a few examples. I remind students that I will only share sticky notes that are complete and correct.
Transition Time: Every day after the mini-lesson, students get 5 minutes of Prep Time to choose new books (if needed), find a comfy spot, use the bathroom, and anything else they might need to do to prepare for 40 minutes of uninterrupted Independent Reading. I set it up that way so that students have no reason to get out of their spots. They are expected to have 5 books in their browsing box at all times so if they finish a book they have others to choose from without moving around the room. They are also expected to have a pencil and sticky notes in their browsing boxes in case they need them for the day’s task. I strongly encourage them to use the bathroom so they do not need to go during reading time. At the end of the 5 minute Prep Time, I do a countdown, 5 4 3 2 1, Level 0 (referring to volume level). By the end of countdown, students must be in their spots and silent with all of the materials they need to sustain their reading. They must follow the distance rule of arm’s length apart from any other student. They are not to get out of their spots for any reason so that they can focus on their book and their task. Because I use Independent Reading time to work with students one-on-one or in small groups, I really stress to the students that the teacher is not available to everyone during this time. I encourage them to problem solve on their own and hold all questions or comments until the end of Independent Reading time. All of this takes practice but once it is all in place, Independent Reading becomes a magical time when students are engrossed in their books and the teacher is free to meet individual needs of students through conferencing, strategy groups, or guided reading.
Guided Practice: Today, I will be conferencing with students right at their comfy spots and asking them to show me their sticky notes. This is also when I could pull students for assessments, one-on-one reading, strategy groups, or guided reading groups.
Closing: At the end of 40 minutes, I remind students that their job during reading time was to complete a sticky note with their name, class #, book title, and then Point of View with evidence. Then I ask them to place it in their designated class # spot on the Post-It Parking Lot. While students are putting their browsing boxes away, I scan the sticky notes to find a few great examples to share. Once students gather at the carpet, I share the complete and correct examples with the class. I then tell them that we will continue our Point of View work tomorrow. Reader’s Workshop has come to an end.