Discovering Point of View in Literature

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Students will be able to determine point of view, including hidden meanings, by analyzing their class novels.

Big Idea

Irony, sarcasm, understatement, oh my! Determining point of view when hidden meaning is at play.

Biweekly Work Habits and Learning Reflection

10 minutes

Students complete our biweekly learning reflection and work habits as their warm-up today. This routine activity requires students to reflect on their growth and on areas for improvement, focusing on what actions they have and can still take to learn. By reflecting on these actions, students take ownership of their own learning

Point of View Lecture

20 minutes

Analyzing point of view with double meaning, or between what is directly stated and what is meant, is a challenging task, so this lesson on RL.6 features scaffolding.

We begin with a hook--an image with multiple points of view to establish that point of view impacts how we make meaning of a story. Students get a chuckle out of the funny photo of a car caught between a dock and a yacht; they also get the point that each observer has a different point of view on the event, from the not-so-happy driver to the very-amused observers.

Next, we look at a literary example. I take students back in time to the story of the three little pigs and the modern rewrite of the story from the wolf's point of view. We discuss how the story changes when the wolf tells his tale.

Students are well-hooked now, so we look at the terms they will need to know: first, second, third, objective, limited, omniscient, understatement, irony, and sarcasm. For each term, we look at examples.

The double meaning terms in particular need examples. For irony, we look at the song "Ironic" to test the definition against the songs examples. Discussions ensues about expectations versus hopes. We determine that, in fact, the song is not very ironic at all. For sarcasm, we look at a clip from The Big Bang Theory, which relies heavily on sarcasm for its humor. Students are able to identify each sarcastic comments in the short clip we watch.

Fully engaged, students are now ready to try their own analysis.

Novel Practice

15 minutes

We apply our new skill with our literature circle groups. I ask students to identify the point of view used in their novel and analyze how that point of view impacts our understanding of events and characters. Finally, I ask students to identify which double meaning trick is used in a selected quote from their novels. While this final step does not fully meet the standard just yet (they'll need to add how the double meaning impacts our understanding of characters and events), this task is enough of a challenge for our first attempt. We'll add to our work during our next point of view practice.