Demonstrate an Understanding of Point of View by Writing a Short Narrative in the Form of an Email from Junior to Mary.

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SWBAT write in first person to reflect Junior's attitude by writing an “email” to Sister Mary Runs Away In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Big Idea

Dear Mary, This is your brother Junior...


10 minutes

The activator is used to review what students learned the previous day which is also called activating prior knowledge.  But it also can be used to complete a short assignment, therefore, helping students to bring their attention to the lesson.

I begin the activator today by handing out a quiz on the chapter Halloween.  I give quizzes on the chapters that I think students need to especially pay attention to, and have a complete understanding of, such as this one,  because it will be important for our lesson today that students are aware of how the events and plot advance the theme.

Building Knowledge

20 minutes

I begin this mini lesson with an overview of summarizing and paraphrasing.  I check for understanding by asking students to give examples of how they might summarize the chapter just read or paraphrase a conversation between two characters.  

Next, I review an authors point of view: First, Second, and Third person narrative using a power point presentation.  I also ask each student to take notes in their journals while I present the information on the power point L.9-10.6.  At the end of the power point, slide #6, I give a short checking for understanding quiz after which we discuss the answers as a whole class.

Green Dot Reinforcer

Here's a relatively simple and quick technique to help students stay on task.  I circulate among the class putting a "green dot" on the page of each student who completes their notes and quiz in their journals.  A simple dot can act as a powerful reinforcer for on-task behavior.  While circulating among the class I always say, "If you get a green dot your on your way to getting an A."  They will remind me if I forget to put the dot on their papers.  I also make certain to "dot" a paper of those students who may not be completed with their work but need a prompt to complete it with the comment, "I know you're going to finish this so I'll give you a "dot."  It works 90% of the time!

Student Learning Activity

30 minutes

I give students the option of working with a partner or to read individually chapter 13 and 19 of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.”  Both chapters are a few pages each and are communications in which Mary either emails or writes a letter to her brother Junior.

Next students write a 1 page email or letter to Mary Runs Away in 1st person as Junior.  The prompt question includes: Respond to Mary’s life changes as you expect Junior would respond. Describe for Mary all the things Junior has done since she left the reservation (shortly after Junior decided to go to Reardon HS).

I circulate among students checking for understanding and keeping students focused on the task.  

I include in this lesson, a video resource showing one of my students who wanted feedback on her email to Mary. I asked her to first read to me what she wrote.  In this lesson I choose not to focus on conventions but as the standard W.9-10.3 requires, my focus is on helping students to demonstrate understanding of the concept of point of view by writing short narrative. 

Wrap Up

15 minutes

Ticket to Leave

I pick  pop-cycle sticks from a jar which have a student initials on them and ask the chosen student to either share:

  • one insight they gained into the character Mary Runs Away or
  • read their email out loud