What Are They Saying?? What's Their Point of View?

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SWBAT acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters by using different voices for characters and asking evaluative questions.

Big Idea

Record the characters' voices so we can hear their point of view!


  • The Knight and the Dragon by Tomie DePaola - clip the last pages together with the BBQ scene - we'll be predicting)
  • Lesson vocabulary words from the Reading/Writing word wall: questioning, character, point of view, voice, evaluative
  • Set up the whiteboard
  • Ipads for the students (they can work in groups or you can share one iPad)
  • 'Evaluative Question Starters' chart
  • 'Voice Record Pro' app (free) - if you can't find this, just get an app that records


Using the Voice Record Pro app.... (practice before the lesson)

  • press record (twice) to start recording for each page
  • to add page numbers (change the name), using 'change title'
  • you can add a picture of the pages by touching the camera icon - make sure its the right orientation


My goal in this lesson is to really target the students ability to understand the characters' point of view.  This is a great book because the characters' motivations are clear in this text and there is evidence (illustrations and text) provided for their motivation and actions. I like using this text because the limited wording allows the students to add in their own dialogue and not worry if it's 'right' or 'wrong'. The author leaves the text open to the reader to interpret. By acknowledging differences in the points of view of characters and speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud, the students are able to evidence the characters' motivations.  (RL.2.6)  We assess how the point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text - how the characters look at situations and each other influences what happens in the story.

If you have not taught lessons about question writing, I encourage you to look at some of the earlier lessons so your students get some practice with writing and answering questions. These lessons include The Whys and Whens of Questioning about LiteratureSo What Do You Think, Using Evaluative Questions with LiteratureEvaluative Questions-Pick Your Side and ArgueQuestions Help Us See How Characters DevelopThat Striking LanguageAsk Questions About Those Illustrations and The 'What's' and 'Where's' of Literature.

Let's Get Excited!

5 minutes

Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics.  The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary.  My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)


Common starting point

  • "We have been practicing asking and answering questions that are literal, inferential, and evaluative."
  • "Today we'll ask some questions as we read to determine the characters' point of view.  Your point of view or perspective is how you look at things - what you think."
  • "We can ask evaluative questions to determine your point of view."  Refer to 'evaluative question starters' chart.


This chart and the use of questioning is something that my students have worked extensively on in the past few weeks. I feel my students have really become comfortable using questioning before, during and after and find answers in the text. This drive to use evidence (illustrations, text) to answer questions and use questioning to understand what they have read is a shift represented by the Common Core standards towards the students ability to draw on their own ability to answer questions rather than rely on adults to supply the facts.  (RL.2.1)


Get students engaged

  • "I brought a fun book today about 2 characters - take a look."   Show the book
  • "What do you think these characters want - what is their perspective or point of view?"  Take ideas - prompt for what the characters want to do, what they eat, where they live....

Teacher's Turn

15 minutes

Give the purpose of the lesson

  • "This is a great book to talk about point of view and ask some evaluative questions because this author created many pages with no words.  Why would he do that?"  Take ideas - he wants the reader to 'infer'   He thinks the illustrations are enough.    He likes people to decide for themselves. The character's point of view affects what happens in the story.
  • "How can you determine what the characters are thinking?  We can ask some evaluative questions.  These questions get us involved in the story. They help us think about the characters' point of view!"


Introduce the strategy & model ***

  • "I"ll read the first part of this book and get to the page without words."  Read pages 1-3
  • "Now I'll ask an evaluative question to help me understand this page.... look at the chart...."Do I think the dragon will win or the knight will win?"  Write that on the board.    "I'll use a voice to show what I think they are saying and record each characters' voice on this app. Think about how the character's point of view affects how he/she reacts to what happens."
  • pages 4-5   "As I look, I want to show the perspective of the knight and record what I think he is saying. Let's ask an evaluative question - look at the question starter chart- 'Is the knight ready for battle?'  on the board... Don't forget to use a 'knight voice' when you record)"  and give wording for the knight building the armor. "I'll change the title to 'pages 4-5' on the menu."
  • Pages 6-7   "What is the perspective of the dragon .... Let's write the question 'How would you get ready for battle?'   This is our discussion of evaluative questions.
  • "What voice does a knight use to tell that he is ready?"  Use the voice and give wording for the dragon and his tail.   "I'll change the title to 'pages 6-7' on the menu."


Practice strategy - guided practice

  • As we read, some of my kids needed help with vocabulary for the pictures. We made a story vocabulary list on the board.
  • "Let's try a few together."  Show pages 8-9 and pages 10-11. Talk about what the characters would say and their point of view that the author added .... add a few more evaluative questions on the board....and record the voices as a group.  
  • Here's an example of my class discussion during the guided practice example
  • Change the title on the menu to the page numbers for easy playback.
  • Here are the evaluative questions that my class thought of to help us understand the story.


*** Make sure you're familiar with the app - its pretty easy, but you don't want to take class time to try to remember how to save or play back.  I showed the kids twice in this section and then they needed almost NO help at all after that!

Students Take a Turn

20 minutes

Set up groups - optional depending on how many iPads & books you have  (If you have only one of each, then have students come up and take a turn.)

  • ....If you are have several iPads and are using groups....Remind them of the rules of group work. Here's the group rules poster that my kids have used.
  • ....for all of the kids....For iPad use, again remind them of the Ipad Rules.


Assign Task

  • "Your job is to finish the voice for the rest of the book. Remember to ask questions about the characters' point of view.  Why did the author give that character a point of view? How does that affect what happens? What would they do?  How are they motivated? Why are they acting that way?  Ask a question using our chart to help you understand the characters better." 
  • "In your group, you will use the app to add voice to the rest of the book." Here's how I directed students to use voice. Save the files with the page numbers - this is how the kids added a numbers to the title to the recording.
  • "Let's look through the rest of the book and then we'll add our ideas."  Show the rest of the book - my kids LOVED the last pages!!
  • When you're done, you can go back and take a picture of the page and add it to the file.  This is one of my students taking pictures.


Formative Assessment

Share What You've Learned

15 minutes

Show your work

  • "Does anyone want to share one of their evaluative questions?"  Here's one of my students demonstrating the use of evaluative questioning.
  • .... if they worked in groups...."Now let's share our stories.  Each group can come up and share one file that they did well." Here's one of my students who used multiple voices to show character point of view - I can see that she DEFINITELY understands this skill!
  • .....if you did the story as a class.... "Let's listen to the stories with the voices and we can hear the point of view of the characters!"


Wrap up

  • "What was your favorite part of the lesson today?"  The kids ultimately say using the iPad, but I want to prompt to see if they liked using the voices or thinking about the characters' points of view...
  • "Did the questions help you as you read? When you ask questions about your opinion or what the characters think, does that help your understand better?"  Ultimately, I want the kids to recognize that question improve comprehension.
  • "When we looked at each character's point of view, did you see how that affected the style and content of the text?"


Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.

Students should be in mixed groups, with high and low achievers. This is a great lesson because, regardless of academic skill, the kids can all be creative and use voicing and perspective without the need to write or read a lot.  I like using these lessons that step away from the paper and pencil!!