Who's Right? Comparing Points of View

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SWBAT compare and contrast points of view from which a text is written.

Big Idea

Understanding the point of view from which a story is told increases comprehension of text.

Taking Sides: Who Do You Think Is Right?

10 minutes

After reviewing the independent rewrite practice, it is clear that most students are ready to move on to the comparing and contrasting of points of view and discussing how each point of view affects the text.

In the Charlie McButton book, the students who rewrote as Charlie understand the reasons why Charlie yelled at his sister and can almost justify it.  Likewise, the students who wrote from Isabel Jane's point of view totally understand why she ran, hid and held hostile feelings toward Charlie for making her cry over something "stupid".  

In overhearing their conversations in the last couple of days, it is clear that they all have an idea of who they think is "right" in the story.  To begin this lesson, students have a sign in to complete before they take their seats.  (Really, this will be to help me pair them up for the activity.)  


Can We Tell Who's Right?

40 minutes

In explaining the activity for today, we look at the sign in and talk about a few reasons why each person thinks their character's actions were justified.  I show the picture that is the image for this lesson and we talk about who's "right"?  Of course, in the picture neither person is right and in a text, who is right is up to the reader's interpretation.  So, we discuss all of that- this part is very much student led- and talk about the work bias.  I use the example of when two kids get into an argument that each of them tries to mold or "spin" the story so they each look "right".  We talk about the words I always say- "The truth is somewhere in the middle."  We discuss how all of this can be applied to Charlie and Isabel Jane.

I then use the information from the sign in and pair my students up for the compare/ contrast activity.  Obviously, I need opposing views so each person who thinks Charlie was justified is paired with a person who thinks Isabel Jane was justified.  

I hand out the page the students are going to work on and give the instructions.  I spend the work time meeting with pairs who are struggling to get started.  I don't help them too much on the questions, though, because I want to see them using their own higher level thinking- not mine!!

Fair is Fair: Wrapping Up

15 minutes

After the students finish analyzing their points of view, we gather back together and have a discussion about who was right- Charlie or Isabel Jane.  A few people hold fast to the notion that Isabel Jane was right in her actions, but for the most part the class said they were both a "little right and a little wrong."  When I asked them why they thought the author chose a 3rd person narration, they mostly agreed that it was the "fairest" way so that the readers could choose their own side.  One kiddo said that having a 3rd person narrator was like having a lawyer to tell your side.  

I collect the compare and contrast paragraphs and the questions and answers as an assessment for this concept.