Look Who's Talking Now

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SWBAT determine the character's point of view in a fictional text.

Big Idea

Students who have younger relatives can relate to this lesson about determining who is speaking in a story and their point of view.


5 minutes

Common Core Connection

I like the lesson image because I always wonder what babies would say if they could talk.  I felt like I was always analyzing my son to see what he wanted when he was a baby.  I think, as readers, students have to really analyze characters in the text just like I analyzed my son to understand point of view.  

The Common Core Standard RL1.6 (Point of View Standard) says that students need to identify who is telling the story at different points.  To support this standard, I first get my he students to identify who is speaking in the text.  I do this because my students are not used to looking at quotations, using the word "narrator," or understanding what is "third person."  Then, they analyze and discuss what the person's point of view is in relation to the other characters.

Students are seated in the lounge in heterogeneous groups.  The grouping remains consistent as students move to their desks for guided practice.  Then students transition to the center tables to work in different heterogeneous groups of two or three.  I really like mixed ability groups because they help my students learn to work as a team. They also allow students to help each other and encourage student to explain their reasoning.

Lesson Overview

I seat my class in the lounge area. 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. I know it makes them more interesting.

Introductory Activity

I ask the class if they have ever been around a baby and wondered what it would say if it could talk.  I show them the lesson image and allow them to imagine what the baby is telling the other baby. Then we imagine what the baby facing the front is going to say in return. We are thinking about the point of view of the babies. I write ideas on the board.  Some examples might be, "I really need you to hold me instead of cook dinner," or "I would prefer milk instead of juice."

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 narrators' point of view."

I say, I can determine a character or author's point of view. The class echoes, tells a friend, and then they repeat it with me.  This strategy makes learning meaningful for the students.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

I read the text Two Bad Ants which is a new text for my class. I will continue to use this text for several different lessons to allow my students to get a deeper understanding of the text as we expand comprehension skills. I also chose this text because it is recommended to be used to teach point of view.  I then found a man reading the story on youtube and thought that would be a great way to use technology in the classroom. 

I read the entire text stopping periodically to ask questions.  I stop about every other sentence. Some of the questions I ask are: What do you think the character's point of view is here?  What evidence from the text can you use to show me that? I use the left of thet chart for the points and the right for the way the student justifies the point. The Board Work we create is in the resource section. Common Core puts a great deal of importance on teaching students to use evidence from the text.

Partner Work

20 minutes

This time I chose to analyze another fictional text.  I select  Owl Moon for students to analyze point of view. This a text that is recommended to teach point of view.

In groups of two or three students work at the center tables to list the author's point of view on the left of the t-chart and the reason or evidence on the right.  I feel that students need a lot of practice with guided support to master this skill.  I walk around, watch, and listen to see who I can help. I have two videos showing students working in the resource section (Students Working Video 1  and  Students Working Video 2).

Student Reflection

20 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 who is telling a story and their 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.