Look Who's Talking

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SWBAT determine who is telling certain parts in a text.

Big Idea

This is an introductory lesson to learning who is speaking in a story.


5 minutes

Common Core Connection

The Common Core Standard is RL1.6 (Point of View Standard) and it says students need to identify who is telling the story at different points.  The students do this specific skill as I model it in the hook. They get guided practice sorting and labeling who is talking in the guided practice and partner work.  The only thing about this lesson is that it is limited to the narrator and one speaker.  This is an introductory lesson.  The skill complexity is higher in later lessons.  Later lessons add a variety of text and increase the complexity of the characters.  I feel that as I introduce skills it is best to be consistent and simple.

Lesson Overview

I seat my class in the lounge area which is what most people call the carpet.  I use the word lounge to help develop vocabulary in my students. I share a story as my activating strategy. This gets the students thinking and lets them learn a little more about me. I think making my lessons personal motivates my students.

Introductory Activity

I tell the class my husband and son love to prank me. They think it is so funny.  They laugh and say this is hilarious.  Their most famous prank is sneaking in the bathroom when I am showering and throwing a toy snake over the shower in on me.  I scream and tell them I am going to get them.  Then I explain that their point of view is that this is so funny.  I then site the words and write them on the board.  Next I tell my point of view. I am scared and mad.  Then I write what I said on the board.  

I say today we are going  to learn about who is talking in a story.  After we discover who is talking, we will discuss what they say. Last we will make a judgement about the characters or narrator's point of view.

Narrator is a new vocabulary word so I explain what I mean as soon as I tell them the lesson goal.  I say, I can determine a character's point of view. The class echos, tells a friend, and then they repeat it with me.  This develops ownership or the goal and makes the goal personal.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

I give each child a copy of the excerpt.   I like shorter pieces of a text for introducing skills and I think it is helpful to use exemplar text. I project the excerpt from Are You My Mother?, which is in the resources (Point of View Are You My Mother and Are You My Mother PowePoint), on the board.

We sort each sentence by who is speaking.  I ask the students to discuss who is speaking.  I tell them there are two speakers in the story.  One volunteer tells me the answer and I label the t- chart with the mother bird and the narrator.  They discuss how they know the speaker before I ask a volunteer to share their thoughts.  I think this engages more students. 

The students are seated at their desks beside a heterogeneous ability partner that I assign.  I call one peanut and the other jelly.  This way I can ask peanut to tell jelly something and reverse.  Its a nice way to organize collaboration.


Partner Work

20 minutes

The students move to the center tables so they have more room.  I can also already have materials set up. First graders also need a transition after about twenty minutes.

I give the students excerpts from the resources.  I try to choose text that correlates to their lexile level.  Each group gets a different excerpt and I try to make sure each excerpt has a narrator and one speakers.  This keeps their practice consistent with the guided practice.

My students fill in the t-chart for the speakers and they write what each speaker said. I walk around, ask questions, and check for understanding.

Student Reflection

5 minutes

I know this is one activity that each child will want to share.  So, we form two lines.  Line one presents their line to line two.  Then they switch.  This allows everyone to be engaged at the same time.  

Prior to the presentation I review the rules of speaking and listening.  This keeps me from having to correct any behavior.


5 minutes

Each student tells their peanut butter jelly partner what they learned.  I listen to see what they are saying.  Then I share some comments.

Last I ask the students to restate the lesson goal.   I say, I can determine a character or author's point of view. The class echos, tells a friend, and then they repeat it with me.  This develops ownership or the goal and makes the goal personal.