Common Core Connection and Introduction
To teach to Common Core Standard RL.1.6, I have the students analyze the characters' point of view as they fill in the graphic organizer. They get guided practice evaluating a piece of text. This is not an introductory lesson. The skill complexity is higher in this lesson than in Thanksgiving Play, which was the previous lesson. In Thanksgiving Play the students learned how to find the characters perspective. Now, we are increasing the complexity of the text they are analyzing, and in this lesson we analyze how the story might change if a different character told the story. So, we are predicting how the story would change by analyzing the character's perspective.
Now there is a sequence of instruction that needs to be in place to get the class to understand this standard. First, they need to know is who is actually speaking. I do several lessons on understanding the author's use of quotations for speakers. It is like who is talking and when in the story. Then comes helping the students understand the characters perspective, their feelings. The last lesson in the unit is actually on point of view. The point of view is the based on the characters perspective and often the story is in first person.
In the guided practice the students analyze the point of view of the Hen in the Little Red Hen.
Students are seated in the lounge in heterogeneous groups: peanut butter jelly partner. The grouping remains consistent as students move to their desks for guided practice. Then students transition: transitions to the center tables to work in different heterogeneous groups of two or three. We finish the lesson back at the lounge.
I seat my class in the lounge area (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.
I ask the class if they have ever thought about how a story might be different if it was told by one of the characters instead of a narrator. I allow them to discuss with their assigned partner for about one minute. Then one person shares their answer. I explain that today we are going study the perspective of the The Red Hen and one of the other animals.
I say, "I can determine a character's point of view." The class echoes, tells a friend, and then they repeat it with me. This develops ownership or the goal and makes the goal personal.
My students listen to the story as I read. Then students discuss the point of view of the Little Red Hen. I say, "How did she feel? What was she thinking? How do you know?" (She felt like the other animals did not deserve the wheat, so she did not share her bread.)
I listen and call on a volunteer. The class signals thumbs up or down to agree or disagree. I encourage discourse by asking one student to explain why they agree or disagree. If nobody wants to respond then I model agreeing or disagreeing. I think it is okay to not know what to say, but the students need to be shown what to do when they do not know. After the discussion, I write the narrator on the board.
I also talk a little about how folktales are stories told by people and they do not always have a specific author. This is a new concept for first graders. They just learned what an author is and now some stories do not have one. This creates some discussion to make sure the students understand.
I told the class that on this section we would look at how the story might be different if it was told by another character. I ask for the student to make suggestions on who the character should be and then I allow them to give me reasons to justify the characters perspective. For example, the cat might say she was too tired from licking her fur all day. Then she had to catch mice for dinner and just did not have time to help Hen.
The students work with their assigned partners to fill in the graphic organizer that I explain on the board. By analyzing how the story would change if told from another character really show the students understanding of the characters point of view. I allow the students to use the poem of The Little Red Hen by Mary Ann Hoberman, since I already had copies of the text and I want each group to have a copy. The characters are different, but the idea is the same. It is so important for first graders to have a copy of the text reference and so they can learn how important it is to back up their ideas with text evidence (not to mention spell different words correctly!). Students do not always recall certain things in the text they want to use to support their idea and first graders often do not know how to spell many words they use.
I show the students a model of a letter I wrote to a person who works at our local newspaper about from the point of view of one of the characters. I explain that the students will write a letter to the newspaper from the point of view of one of the characters in the poem or story (advanced student work). It can be any length they feel needed. I try not to put limits on their writing. I find that if I say write at least five sentences then my students stop at five.
I review the rules of speaking and listening. I ask the groups to form two lines facing each others. Students begin to work on their speaking and listening skills as one row presents their work. Then the opposite row presents.
I listen closely so I can provide feedback. I am modeling how to provide feedback for my students. I ask them to provide feedback for their peers.
The class meets on the lounge and each person tells their peanut butter jelly partner one thing they learned today about the point of view. I listen and share their responses.
I think we need to restate the lesson goal in every closure. I say, "I can determine the character's point of view." My students echo, tell a friend and then repeat it with me. This repetition enhances memory, telling a friend makes it personal, and echoing allows the students to practice speaking in a complete sentence.