Who is Telling the Story?

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SWBAT distinguish among the points of view in their literary text.

Big Idea

How can we tell who is telling the story? Come learn one simple tool to figure it out.


10 minutes

Summary and Context:

Today, students will be introduced to the idea of point of view. They will be introduced to keywords and context that can help identify first person, second person and third person. In this way, my students will be able to have one tool by which to identify points of view as they read literature.

In addition, to help them distinguish the different points of view in the story My Name is Yoon, we will reread the story using reader's theatre.

I will give my students the opportunity to gather evidence about first point of view. Then, we will debrief the lesson and close out this unit.

Lesson Opening:

I start with my students on the rug with a mini-lesson on point of view. I introduce and explain the concept of point of view to the students. 

My English Language Learners need tangible ways to make sense of academic language and that is why I am teaching these keywords. It is not the only way to distinguish point of view, but, starting out, for my students it is a good stepping stone to more sophisticated ways of accomplishing this task.

I introduce the clue words:

Then I create a chart for them to distinguish the three different points of view. I proceed to give an example with each point of view word. I let them know that today we will focus on first person and those clue words associated with first person.

Then, I bring out the book, Diary of a Wombat. (It is an excellent and easy selection for students to see first point of view. Also, it is a story I have already read to them.) I read only part of the story. As I read, I want them to listen to the clue words for first person. I ask them to tell me a sentence they heard and I write it on the easel for them to see with first person key words.

Next, I tell them that we will be rereading My Name is Yoon, using a reader's theatre technique,  to help us think about point of view in that text. I tell them to start thinking about which characters they want to be as we reread as they walk back to their seats.

Reader's Theatre: Rereading My Name is Yoon

25 minutes

Back at their seats, I make a list of the characters on the white board. I have 21 students and four group of tables. I want to be fair in choosing who will be reading the part of Yoon. The story is 28 pages with 12 pages of text. My plan is to choose a person from each table to take turns reading Yoon's part. Since this is the first time we are incorporating reader's theater, I choose from those volunteering at each table who will Yoon. I make it equitable by choosing two girls and two boys reading Yoon's part. And, given that Yoon's part is pretty significant, I choose my most capable readers. Every three pages, I will have them change.

Then, I choose the other characters: mother, father, the teacher, and the ponytail girl. 

I let my students know that they can have freedom in how they want to make their voices sound as they read their parts.

I will read the narrator-esque parts of the story, so that the students are not reading it, allowing us to maintain the flow of the reader's theatre.

I explain to them that as each reads their part, they are only to read where the person is talking. Sometimes the quotes, which I write on the whiteboard, tell us when the character starts talking, and sometimes we need to rely on the key words for the first person: I, we, us and me.

This is where I will need to support them to remind them because they will forget, and my students are in the process of becoming proficient readers.

Brain Break

2 minutes

I get the students to get out their seats to stretch, take deep breaths, move arms and legs. I put on some music to make it more fun.

Practicing First Person Point of View

15 minutes

I introduce the graphic organizer my students will use to record their sentences that show first person point of view. Students will work to find sentences in their reading selection to demonstrate the narrator’s point of view. They will record the page number and the two sentences in the graphic organizer I provide them.

My students will either sit at their tables or find a space around the room. Graphic organizers are a fantastic way for students to organize their thinking and retrieve the information when needed. 

I will walk around to monitor their behavior and give assistance where needed. Some students will need to be reminded of the task. Others will need reassurance as to the evidence they are collecting.

Here are samples of their work:

Here is a compilation of their work: This Story Is About Yoon.


10 minutes

I like to review what we learned and practiced because I believe that what is reviewed is remembered. Reviewing allows me to clarify any misconceptions about what the students perceive as point of view and it lets me know what adjustments I need to make to further lessons. Today, I let me students to work in groups because it is introductory lesson and I wanted them to feel successful. In future lessons, I will have them practice independently.

In this review, I give students the opportunity to share the sentences from their reading selection that demonstrates narrator’s point of view. In this case, they are reading sentences that have the words: I, me, we, us, and my.