To understand different points of view in a story helps my students obtain a deeper understanding of the story, Charlotte's Web. Today, I will be discussing point of view with my students by asking: "What is point of view?" Next, I will ask, "What is an opinion?" Why? I want them to briefly touch upon point of view as: first person, and third person for this task. But, I also, want them make the connection between point of view and opinion. I want to make clear that when we express an opinion, this opinion originates from a particular point of view which is the focus of the lesson.
To give them practice with this skill, I am having my students choose an opinion about whether they believe Wilbur should be kept alive or not. In establishing an opinion, they need to keep in mind what character in the story would have this opinion because they will be choosing characters that align with their opinion.
To help my students understand different points of view, I am showing them two videos.
Afterwards, my students will research their character and find evidence that supports their point of view. Thus, their research of their character will need to include reasons for either keeping Wilbur alive or not. Tomorrow my students will take their research and write an opinion letter to the author, E.B. White, advocating for Wilbur's life or for him to be turned into smoked ham come Winter.
Afterwards, students will share their character with the whole class.
Finally, to maintain the flow of the story moving along, I will read aloud the next chapter of Charlotte's Web. If students want to add to their research they can now.
I will start on the rug.
I will share the student friendly objective: "I can express an opinion through a character." I proceed with the question: What Is Point of View? Then, I ask, What Is An Opinion? I ask my students to pair share with each other before they share with the whole class. Even though my students are developing self confidence about sharing with the whole group, I continue to use the pair-share technique to give my students as much practice with academic language as possible.
To help students understand point of view I want to show two videos. The first one, I am only showing two minutes of the five minute video. The video shows two bikes with cameras showing two different points of view.
Here is the link and video title: A different point of view...
Here is the link and video to the story: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, by Jon Scieszka.
Who gets to be which character? First I review the characters of the story. I have created a large Story Elements Chart where I have listed all of the important characters. This helps us when I need to reference the story--like now. I give the students guidelines that we will need to have a balance of students who choose whether Wilbur should live or be made into smoked ham.
Then, I ask my students to help me make a list of the characters and categorize them according to their point of view. My students need to keep in mind which and which side the character is on. This is a task that contributes to the comprehension of the plot.
Now that we have listed the characters, I ask the students which character they want to take on. I make sure no more than 3 students choose a character. How do I choose which students chooses first? I let those who are following the school rules go first.
I write the names of the students next to the characters to keep track of Who Is Going to Be Who?
Now, I model the research process for the students. I created a graphic organizer for them to gather information about their character and reasons (evidence) for their opinion. They will use this to write their friendly letters tomorrow.
On one side of the graphic organizer, I am asking them to describe the character. On the other side, I am asking them to write at least 4 reasons that support their opinion. The details that support their point of view/opinions come from what we know about the character and what has happened to the character in the text. Integrating imaginative details by way of inferences is fine, but the students need to base these details on the text.
As I think out loud, I am going to emphasize how it is important to form a confident opinion and the voice needs to be active. The voice one uses is about portraying authority on why Wilbur should live or die. So my students are practicing to understand deeply where that particular character is coming from. I use the character of Mrs. Zuckerman to model the process.
Now my students use the graphic organizer to do their research and state their opinion advocating for Wilbur's life or not.
I give my students plenty of writing time. During this time, I ask them to research the character's traits and their opinion with details from the text.
For example, for those researching Charlotte and Fern I am looking for them to provide details of how they have cared for Wilbur--such as Fern feeding Wilbur with a warm bottle of milk and/or Charlotte devising a plan to save him.
I will need to make sure I am giving enough support for those who choose lesser developed characters--but I feel there is enough character development with those other characters for students to be able to accomplish this task.
I will walk around and give support as needed. Some will need support as to where they can find the evidence. I will direct them to specific pages but I will not find it for them. Others will need to be reminded of the task and how many reasons to include and what character traits should they be focusing on.
Here are some examples of their graphic organizers:
•Wilbur, I want To Live (Wilbur is allowed to advocate for himself.)
Students now will share their opinions and some of the reasons they chose to either keep Wilbur alive or to let him be a main dish during the Holidays.
During their writing time, I make sure to ask those students who are meeting the task to share. In this way, I am modeling ideal work.
Here are the students who share their work:
After the speakers share, they receive feedback. This is the system I use:
•Two Stars: Two different students share what they specifically like about the content of the writing.
•A Wish: Another student shares specifically how they think the writing can be improved.
In this case, I asked those who were giving feedback to state whether the speakers were convincing about keeping Wilbur alive or not--in addition to giving the above feedback.